Recently the background check company Been Verified issued a list of its twelve most common phone scams being perpetrated today.  The phone is a primary method for scammers who can make large numbers of calls or texts using computers rather than actual phones.   Scammers also use prerecorded robocalls to contact people they are attempting to scam.  For information about what you can do to protect yourself from robocalls, I suggest you check out his Scam of the day from the past

Among the most common phone scams are text messages purporting to be from various banks telling the victim that his or her bank account has been frozen and providing a number to call to unfreeze it; phone calls purporting to be from Publisher’s Clearing House telling them that they have won a sweepstakes, but are required to pay taxes or fees before collecting their prize; and calls purportedly from the targeted victim’s bank telling them that their debit card was frozen.


The goal of all of these calls is to convince people that there is an emergency that requires your immediate attention by providing personal information, clicking on a link to get help or make a payment.  As I often tell you, whenever you get a phone call or a text message even if the Caller ID indicates that the call is legitimate, scammers can use a simple technique called spoofing which enables them to make the call appear to come from any number they wish.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.

Since you can never be sure who is actually calling you, the best course of action if you receive a text message or call that asks you to respond by providing personal information or clicking on a link or making a payment, you should not do so, but rather call the real company or government agency the caller appears to be from at a telephone number you independently confirm is correct.  Don’t call the number provided in the call or text.

By the way, Publishers Clearing House never contacts winners by phone.

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