While online scams are on the rise in our modern, high-tech world, plenty of trickters still rely on good, old-fashioned phone scams to con unsuspecting victims.
Do you live in USA? We have one bad news and one good news for you. As for the bad one: statistically, every 7th call you receive is a spam or a fraud call. And for the good one? In most cases, the scammers use similar scenarios, so if you know what to expect, you can see right through them.
To make your fight against scammers a little easier, we’ve pulled together data from several million phone calls that happen every day in the US. Based on that data, we’ve ranked the four most common phone scams that could hit you in 2022. Here they are.
1. Grandparent scam
Yes, this one is still a thing. The so called grandparent scam has been an evergreen of scammers’ tricks for years, and now it’s not any different. The scenario is always the same. A trusting grandparent answers a phone call from unknown number and then he or she hears this: “Hi, grandma, it’s me, your grandchild, I’m in trouble. Could you please help me?”
Sounds like a normal family call, but of course, it is not (although the hypothetical older lady from our example doesn’t know it yet and, in the end, she will probably lose a big amount of money). The grandparent scam is a very usual form of telephone fraud. The scammer here pretends to be a grandchild in distress. Usually, they inform the victim that, because of unspecified unfortunate events, they ended up in jail and now need money to be released on bail. In other scenarios, scammers pretend to need money because of an injury or some other accident. And who wouldn’t help own family, right?
2. Neighborhood scam
Imagine this. You sit down for dinner or in front of your TV set – and then your phone rings. It appears to come from your neighborhood. Or even from a company like Microsoft or Google. So you answer it – and realize this call comes from the other side of the world.
Yes, you get it right. You just became a victim of the so called “number spoofing” (faking the number that appears on your caller ID). Lately, this tactics has been very popular with scammers. For one simple reason. Thanks to spoofing, scammers can not only push you to answer the call, but they are also hard to track down.
3. IRS scam
Yes, we know. This is a yesterday’s news. But scammers don’t give up on trying with this one. The result? According to IRS, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams.
It all starts with a simple text message or a call in which you learn a disturbing news: you’ve forgotten to pay your taxes. And if you won’t pay it immediately, you’re threatened with arrest and frozen assets.
What you should know here: the real IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.
According to the IRS itself, the IRS will never:
– call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.– demand that you pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe. You should also be advised of your rights as a taxpayer.
– threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. The IRS also can not revoke your driver’s license, business licenses, or immigration status. Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes.
4. Charity scam
You sit down for dinner or in front of the TV set – and then your phone rings. Wake up: this is a charity’s calling. But beware – according to the Federal Trade Commission, the number of scammers who pretend to represent a legitimate charity is on the rise.
Usually, these scammers pose as either agents of legitimate well-known charities or create their own charity name. This can include charities that conduct medical research or support disease sufferers and their families. They may also pose as individuals needing donations for health or other reasons.
Get protection against all kinds of scam
If you’ve already become a victim of any kind of scam, follow these steps to get your money back. Don’t want to lose your money ever again? Make sure to get an efficient protection against scammers, for example the Should I Answer app for Android. It will block all incoming scam calls for you, so you don’t have to deal with scammers anymore.
(Not an Android user? Let’s check the new app for your iPhone)