You ignore calls from unknown numbers - but what if it's has your area code and he same first three digits as yours? It could be a neighbor saying your dog is out. OR it could be a phone scammer posing as Microsoft offering you a deal. Gavin Macomber of First Orion tells us, “If you quickly do a Google search for the incoming number – you may find that the scammers have already created a Google Ad with a Microsoft logo and that number listed! These scammers are so sophisticated!”
First Orion predicts next year nearly half the calls you get will be from scammers who sell your credit card information to thieves. Never give personal or financial information to someone who calls you. Offer to call them back.
Here’s another example of totally believable scam that preys on folks over 50 or so. Tim Morstad from AARP Houston says this is a new one specifically targeted to older Houstonians. “The person on the phone acts like they are the grandchild of the person they are calling. They have previously looked up the ‘grandparent’ on Facebook and gotten all kinds of personal ‘Grandma info.’ They say they are traveling and need some money. They are too embarrassed to call their parents and want their grandparent to wire them some money so they can fix the car. They repeat often ‘don’t tell mother.’” What grandparent wouldn't help and keep it a secret from the parents? The next thing the ‘grandparents’ know they're getting bills for kayaks and Rolexes purchased in Colorado!
- Keep your Called ID on all the time.
- Never pick up a call from a number you don’t recognize. Important calls will leave a message.
- If you happen to pick up, don’t give personal or financial information to anyone who calls you. If you still think it’s legit – tell them you will call them back.
If you believe you have been scammed – call the appropriate financial institution IMMEDIATELY!