How to identify a phone scam.

Many people lose a lot of money to phone scams – sometimes their entire life savings. Phone scams can take many forms, but the fraudsters always have the same objective – get your money or get your personal information to commit identity theft. To do this, scammers may act friendly and helpful or they might threaten or try to scare you. Since they usually follow similar patterns it’s important to familiarize yourself with how to identify a phone scam.

1. There is No Prize

A caller might say you were selected for an offer or that you’ve won the lottery. They may ask you for personal information to claim your prize. Don’t give it. And if you have to pay to get a prize, it’s not a prize.

2. You Will Not be Arrested

Scammers often pretend to be law enforcement or government agencies. They usually say you’ll be arrested, deported or fined if you don’t pay taxes or some other debt immediately. Real law enforcement or government agencies will not call and threaten you.

3. Don’t Be Rushed

Most legitimate businesses will give you time to think their offer over and do your due diligence. Fraudsters will tell you it’s urgent and to act fast. Don’t be pressured into making a decision on the spot.

4. Never Send Cash or Pay with a Gift Card

Fraudsters want to get you to pay in a way that is difficult to get your money back. So, they will often tell you to wire money, put money on a gift card or prepaid credit card. Anyone who asks you to pay this way is a scammer.

5. Nobody Needs to Confirm Your Personal Information

Never give out your personal information like your social insurance number or account details to someone who calls you unexpectedly. Neither the government nor your credit union will ever call you for this reason.

Source: CUMIS | Risk Solutions Group