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Phishing Scams

Phishing scams can take place through the phone, and through email, but it is the phone based kind which are becoming more and more prevalent these days (sadly), and it is this kind of phishing scam which can be harder to avoid. You see, the fraudsters who play out these scams are smart; they know that it’s easier to sound professional on the phone, and that the immediate nature of the interaction makes it easier to put pressure on wavering marks.

How do phone based phishing scams work?

How do phone based phishing scams work?

Generally these phishing scams, if you don’t know, take the form of someone pretending to be someone important or official in order to get your bank account details, card reader codes, or PIN.

Clever tricks

Clever tricks

A warm up call is a clever trick employed by such people to lure individuals into a false sense of security; they will chat to you about something relatively unimportant, but official, to build trust and lay the foundation for their ultimate goal. You may even speak to two different people. The first informing you that there is a problem etc and making you feel like someone is looking after you, while the second call extracts your personal information.

How to avoid becoming a victim of phone based phishing scams

How to avoid becoming a victim of phone based phishing scams

Firstly, you should remember that banks and building societies have a policy which ensure that they, or anyone working with them, will NEVER ask for your account details or PIN number when they call you. If you haven’t called them, be suspicious. If they are calling you, then they already have your bank details and you should only have to provide a few letters/numbers from your pin.

If you get a call that makes you suspicious or uncomfortable take down the number and name of the person, then look for an official number for the bank or organization they claim to represent. Tell this person you will call directly to resolve the issue, and take attempts to stop you from doing so as suspicious.

Have they really hung up?

Have they really hung up?

If you hang up and decide to do some investigations for yourself, scammers may also employ tricks to fool you at this point; holding your line open is the most common. What happens is that you call your bank (or so you think) and what you get on the other line is one of the phishing scammers pretending to be your bank. So, try to use a different line where you can (to make your next call to the bank or authorities), and if you can’t do this, call a relative or friend before making your official call, that way you will be able to tell.

These are very simple measures, but if you put them in place you will be much safer from these kinds of phishing scams.

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