No one likes robocallers, phone scammers and telemarketers. Not only are they annoying and constantly interrupting you, they’re often trying to be dishonest in order to scam you out of money. Here are some of the most common phone scams, how to identify them, and what to do when they call you.
Avoiding Common Phone Scams
Insurance Scam Calls
Health insurance scam calls often mention open enrollment and offer to connect you with a local insurance agent. These often prompt you to “press 1” to speak with an agent. However, many of these calls are actually looking for leads, feeling out to learn more about you, such as whether you have insurance and other information. This info is then sold to other parties as ad intel on you.
Another common type of scam opens by informing you that you’ve failed to appear for jury duty. Often the caller will claim to be Officer So-and-So with the local police department. Often, these scams will tell you that you need to offer up a certain amount of money to avoid jail time.
If you get a call like this, you can feel free to hang up on the caller. The police will never contact you via phone to collect fees or to warn of potential jail time. If you get summoned for jury duty, you’ll get a letter in the mail.
Social security scams are bolstered by number-spoofing. Robo-calls can use computer programs to make it look like they’re calling directly from the SSA office. The calls often warn you that your SSN has been suspended due to suspicion of illegal activity, and that there is suspicion that your identity has been stolen.
These calls attempt to get you to part with valuable information, saying that they need the info to “clear your name” of the illegal activity. However, the SSA will never call you and ask for your private information over the phone. Anyone warning of dire consequences and demanding information over the phone is trying to rip you off.