Two tips to avoid new telephone scams

TTwo tips to avoid new telephone scams

The new year presents new challenges and opportunities for everyone. While you may or may not have created a resolution list to tackle in the coming months, some individuals may have already added stealing your money on their to-do list. Two tips to avoid new telephone scams

Scammers have sharpened their skills in 2017, and they’re ready to deploy their enhanced knowledge in 2018 using proven techniques, including jury duty scams and first responder scams.

In a jury duty scam, a caller telephones to let you know you’ve missed your appointment for jury service. You are told you must pay a fine or face jail time. The caller sounds both professional and convincing. She might use the name of a real officer, the address of the local courthouse, case numbers, and a host of other official-sounding language. This person sounds intimidating and will threaten you to make you afraid.

Fear is a powerful motivator, and it’s one scammers know well. Scammers will induce fear in their targets and demand a single action to make it disappear – give them money. Don’t fall for it.

Law enforcement or court officials won’t call you to demand money for missed jury service. If you receive a call demanding money for a missed jury service, hang up the phone immediately. The person who called you is a scammer trying to fool you into sending your hard-earned money.

Another popular telephone scam tugs on emotions on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Joy is a powerful motivator, and those people who give generously to others receive joy in exchange for their kind acts. In 2017, scammers took advantage of this desire for joy by posing as local first responders and asked for donations to help them help others. These fraudsters will likely deploy this and similar scams in 2018.

Targets who receive a call from a firefighter or police officer asking for financial help to support the community may want to open their wallets and pitch in, but the only cause the generous person helps with the donation is to enrich the lives of fraudsters.

Unless you know the person calling you, it’s impossible to tell if he is speaking the truth about his identity. Your best course of action when a stranger calls asking for a donation is to say, “I appreciate the call and I’ll consider it later. Thank you.” If the person continues the call with pressure for you to donate, say, “thank you,” and hang up. The longer a fraudster keeps you on the phone, the greater the chance he’ll eventually convince you to give him money. Get off the phone as quickly as possible to prevent that from happening.

A good way to enjoy 2018 is to keep your hard-earned money out of the hands of scammers. Learn how to recognize a telephone scam so you can easily avoid them and you’re well on your way to having a great new year. Two tips to avoid new telephone scams

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Two tips to avoid new telephone scams

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about the author

Rod Spurgeon

Rod Spurgeon is a professional writer, editor, and photographer. He writes a weekly column at ownyourdefense.net, is a content contributor at senior.com, and is the author of several science fiction novels and novellas.
 
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Business from Arizona State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix, and also received an Honorable Mention from PR News Daily’s 2015 Nonprofit PR Awards.
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