Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Here’s How to Protect Yourself From This Common Phone Scam

Here’s How to Protect Yourself From This Common Phone Scam

Here’s How to Protect Yourself From This Common Phone Scam

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Thanks to the sophistication of technology, scammers are getting more crafty, creating scams that look so genuine that you wouldn’t think twice before falling headlong for them.

One of the latest scams going around now is the Amazon scam, and while it is easy to think that you would never fall for such a scam, the truth is that no one is safe.

About The Amazon Phone Call Scam

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Here is how it works. You get a call and see a number you don’t have saved on your phone. You answer it because it might be something or someone important.

The person on the other end of the line tells you they work in customer service at Amazon and that there is some suspicious activity on your Amazon account. This is enough to put anyone in a state of worry.

Persuading Customers 

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Apple products are some of the most expensive items available on Amazon, so it can be quite worrying when someone tells you a stranger might have used your account or money to buy something so expensive.

According to the University of Virginia, in this particular scam, the scammers depend on your sense of urgency and fear over it being such an expensive product to draw you in.

They Tell You Other Items Have Been Bought Using Your Name

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This scam is not only limited to some Amazon products. The scammer may also tell you that gangs have bought cars in your name and have used them for illegal activity.

They will claim that the car has been purchased in your name and used to smuggle drugs in and out of the country and that if you don’t cooperate with them, you could be arrested.

No One Is Safe 

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It is a common belief that older people or those in a vulnerable position are the most likely to fall for a scam.

However, according to the Federal Trade Commission, studies have shown that younger people under the age of 60 are more likely to fall for online shopping scams than those over 60.

Scammers Can Access Your Social Media

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One good reason scams have become more elaborate and believable these days is that they can access your social media accounts.

All they need to do is search your name online, and they will be presented with your accounts. From this, they can glean where you live, your age, who your family and friends are, and even what you had for dinner the previous night.

There Can Be Fake Documents Involved

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Photoshopping skills and AI tinkering have become increasingly realistic these days, making it much easier for scammers to forge false documents.

They can easily create false emails and letters or forge badges and numbers to appear legitimate.

A Woman Lost $50,000

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Journalist Charlotte Cowles was one of those who thought she would never fall for a scam like this, but she did, and she tells her story of falling for the Amazon phone scam in The Cut.

She says that one of the main reasons she fell for the scam was that they mentioned her 2-year-old son, and she didn’t want any harm to come to him. However, they also had her social security number (SSN).

Scammers Are Able to Falsify Real Numbers

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Another reason Charlotte Cowles fell for the scam was that they reached out to her using a seemingly real government number.

Having initially been on a phone call to one of the scammers and telling him she didn’t believe him, he told Cowles to look up the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) number, then hung up and called her back on that number. This is because scammers can use computers to spoof phone numbers.

Call the Company They Are Claiming to Be

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Scammers will often claim to be calling from a well-known company.

If unsure, hang up the call and call the actual company and tell them what the scammers have told you. If it turns out to be legitimate, that would be great. However, if it turns out to be a scam, you would avoid potentially losing thousands of dollars.

Scammers Will Tell you Not to Tell Anyone Else

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Enduring such an experience can leave you craving support from loved ones. However, scammers will claim that it’s important you don’t tell anyone. As Charlotte Cowles experienced, she was told not to talk to anyone. The scammers warned her that a friend or acquaintance could have been behind her supposed stolen identity. They do this because they know the people around you will be able to tell you it’s a scam.

Scammers Usually Want You to Transfer Money

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Most scams involve money. The scammers will have you transfer them an amount of money they choose, claiming it will keep you safe.

In Charlotte Cowles’ case, she was told she had to take out $50,000 from the bank, put it in a box, tape it shut, and put it in a car. This was because she was told they would have to deactivate her accounts and give her a new SSN, which turned out to be a lie.

Staying Safe

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As the FTC suggests, you should consider certain things before providing any information if you believe you may be getting scammed.

The FTC states that it will not call and ask for your SSN or any other personal information. It also says to refrain from confirming your SSN or any bank details. Also, if you are asked to wire money, pay with a gift card, or send cash or cryptocurrency, it is a scam.