Scamming Incidents are becoming more and more prominent nowadays and people are getting scammed almost every minute all over the world and especially in Tier 1 Countries like the USA.
According to a report by truecaller Americans have lost over $10.2 billion in phone scams in 12 months period only.
Yes, that’s right and it’s not going to stop any time soon. So to save yourself from such a scam and prevent yourself from losing all your hard-earned money, here are some of the tips which will help you spot a scammer out of blue and know if you are being scammed.
Warning Signs for a Scammer
Let’s have a look at some of the Warning signals you should be aware of as it can be a sign of a scammer.
Odd Looking Phone Number
It’s not always the case but in the majority of cases, a spam call is from an odd number with different area codes from the USA.
According to Credit cards.com, code 473 is often associated with spam calls.
and According to truecaller, survey majority of spam calls are received on Mobile rather than landline
Beep Sound coming
According to Creditcards.com If you answer the call but the person on the other end takes a while to respond then chances are they are using an automatic dialer.
Take extra care for clicking sounds and series of tones before a person gets to the call because that shows that it may be an automatic dialer to mass dial the numbers.
Whenever you hear an accent you should have your guards up and if the combination is of accent and asking for your money in any form like gift cards, credit cards, etc. then BE EXTRA ALERT !! because that’s one of the most common red flags by scammers.
Verify that immediately by calling your bank directly.
As most of the scammers are from third world countries.
The Caller says there’s a problem with an unknown account
First of all, you should know all the accounts you have opened or closed in the past, because acc. To a survey mosy scammers try to talk about an old account and try to link it to your new account and ask for information for the same like the credit card details, OTP, etc.
Can you Sue the Scammer ?
Acc. to findlaw you should always try to file a report of the scam happened to you but the chances of you getting your money back are remote. Learn more about it here.
The Representative is Pressing Hard
No Bank in this world is so desperate for doing something for you unless you in the first place initiated it.
Let me explain If a bank employee calls you and you don’t know the reason for this call and they try to explain you into it and asks you for immediate action against something confidential like a credit card, OTP then chances are it’s not the bank.
The best precautionary measure against it is cut that call and call the bank directly and if the call is legitimate then they will connect you to the same person again.
You have to Identify Yourself
If someone calls you and asks you to confirm your identity right away then you should be aware because chances are they are mass calling people and don’t know everyone’s details and hence are asking for your information.
So you should ask them to tell you your basic information like address or spouse name in order to tell your other information like social security numbers, addresses, etc.
The Call starts with threats or Dire Warnings
No company has the right to scare a person in order to extract information unless you are a flown criminal from a country. So unless you are some criminals don’t give your information to them.
You need to act fast to take advantage of an offer
If you have won the prize then you have won the prize.
You don’t need to claim it RIGHT NOW! You can easily claim the prize anytime with a certain time limit. You should ask from which company they are speaking and call the company directly.
How do I file a Complaint against a scammer ?
Federal Trade Commision is reponsible for handling such kind of frauds and you can file a complaint on their website or by calling them at 1-877-382-4357 .
Wire transferring Money
The most common way scammers use to get money is wire transferring or gift cards because they are untappable or reversible in any case. So if you are wire transferring someone money then be aware as the person should be trustworthy.
Signs You Should be Aware of
Not every time a scammer will call you and ask for your details many times they will just wait for you to get into the trap and then they pull up the trick so here are some of the things we do on a daily basis that we should take extra care of –
Handling Payments for Someone else
If someone asked you to handle their payments then whether he or she is a family or friend it is your right to ask why and where that money is coming from,
because it may be chances that the money is illegal and you are from a country where holding money for that is considered legal or maybe that money is from money laundering scams like a third world country.
Everyone surfs on the internet nowadays and often you see these signs of locks as green or something like that. If you such sign of unsecured then you should not submit any sensitive information like bank account credentials or credit card numbers etc. but you can read blogs or other stuff on these sites if the sign is not red.
Emails that look not quite right
If you are getting an email from someone claiming to be a bank and is using a very harsh tone or threatening you to pay some money then chances are it is not the bank
and for that first of all, you should check the email address i.e. it should not a generic email address from Gmail or Yahoo or Hotmail and it should be a company domain email address and even if it is a company name email address then you should check the spelling of that email domain because often a typo is there in it and it seems like it is the original name.
Tip for escaping yourself from email scams
Hover over the link before opening it and if the link says something diferent than the link shown or it has incorrect spelling . Don’t Click it.
Asking for your OTP or PIN Number
I guess this should be self-explanatory by itself by now by all the awareness going on you should not be sharing your OTP or PIN number with anyone nor the bank and if the bank employee who is calling you seems to create an emergency situation or hurries up then you should be ultra-aware of it.
You are being Rushed
No financial institution especially bank in this world is in so much hurry to ask your OTP to give you some offer which will expire in the next 1 minute.
The name of the website is incorrect or have a Typo
Sometimes you may see a google ad on terms like personal loans and they seem like one of the trusted websites with the same name and images etc. and they are giving you an awesome deal which you cannot believe so the catch here is you should not believe it.
Maybe they are spam using the almost same domain name but with a typo error which you won’t be able to notice at first glance and hence when you put your card details there, you will receive nothing.
Some recent ways of scamming people have come up and that is referred to as romantic scams in which people are duped in love and then scammed in a number of ways.
and with the rise of dating apps in the country they are increasing as now the person no need to be in front of the person in order to scam them.
Here are some of the ways scammers try to scam people using love.
Trying to pull you away from the website
Most dating websites are very secure in terms of protecting their users privacy and spammers know that too that’s why using any kind of profane language on their app is strictly prohibited
and hence the spammers try to pull you away from the site by using direct mail or SMS so that the app’s protection no longer prohibits you to share your information with someone.
So you should share your email or phone number with someone you have just met and just try to be on the app while talking and only share your information when you have full trust in the person.
Not sending you Personal pictures
Often spammers use models images on the profile pictures and since those models are not so popular so common busy people do not recognize them as fake
and when eventually they ask for more photos of them, they keep sending their family images (of course fake) with their absence because the model’s images are no longer available.
The best solution for this is just doing a simple google search with the image and you might see the name of the person and you can dig deeper now.
Outside of the USA generally
According to may surveys most spammers are from the USA but are living outside the USA for work or other things and have this excuse for their accent or meeting you in person.
Not accepting video calls
Video calls are the best way to immediately know about the person’s surroundings and other features of him i.e. whether he is living in some other country or something else.
Expressing love very fast
Saying I love you without meeting you in person in just a few days should be alarming to you and you should check the background and facts immediately instead of getting knocked off by hearing I LOVE YOU all of a sudden.
Asking for Money through Gift cards, Wire transfers
Some scammers have been seen asking for gift cards or wire transfers because they are impossible to get back and the scammer can remain untraceable
Calls becoming desperate after asking for money
If your recent love asked you for money yesterday and now he is calling you more desperately and in worst case using torture in order o blackmail you to get money then you should be aware of it and try to trace the pattern ASAP
Always having an excuse
They almost always have an excuse for not meeting you whether it is a last-minute meeting or someone getting sick in their family. And also not accepting the video calls from you
How do I report a dating Scammer ?
Block all the communication from that prson and report the account to website . Get more information about it here.
They don’t have a Digital footprint
Living in 21st century without any presence on the web is quite not possible. I know there are people who don’t ever make a Facebook account or twitter account but being a millennial and not making it should ring an alarm in your head so try to ask for their social profiles.
Avoiding Phisique Questions
According to the survey, many scammers often tell their height to weight ratio incorrectly as they are trying to build a fake personality and often in the heat of the moment they will tell you wrong dimensions of the body and will not remember it in the future.
Facts are not correct
Checking background is always a must if you don’t want to do a complete analysis then you should at least check which college and school they attended and cross-check their details.
How to get money back from a Scammer ?
Since there is no sure and guarenteed way to get the money back but it is always worth a try . According to wikihow , You should collct the necessry documents regarding the scam and contact your bank. Learn more about it here.
Now we are not saying you should always keep your guard up because that’s not quite possible as we are humans but being a bit aware of all these things can be good for you as you will have fewer chances of being scammed.
Note: All these points are mere past events done by scammers and it does not mean that if a person does even one of them you should block them immediately but you should be aware from that point in the conversation.