Imagine this - you’re in your car, coming home after a long day at work. You’re tired, hungry, and you just want a chance to relax. Then, your cell phone rings. The Caller ID is a phone number you’ve never seen before, but you answer it anyway. It could be important, you think.
And at first, it seems like it is. The person on the other end of the phone has some amazing news for you. You’ve won the grand prize! They have a five million dollar check with your name on it at their office! All they need is to confirm your address and bank information and they’ll deposit it first thing in the morning!
After you get off the phone, you’re still feeling elated. You’ll be able to quit your job, and go do the traveling you’ve always wanted to do! You can pay off your mortgage and your car loan! But the longer you sit there, the more doubt begins to creep in. On second thought, you don’t actually remember ever entering this contest. And don’t they normally just show up at your door with a big check? You’ve never heard of them depositing it before.
By the next morning, doubt has turned into dread. Because there isn’t five million dollars in your bank account - there’s nothing. The stranger you gave your information to has taken everything.
Hopefully nothing this extreme has ever really happened to you, but this scenario plays out time and time again all over the world, every day. Even as you read this article, thousands of scammers are making phone calls to try and swindle hard working, honest people out of their money. And this is just one of the many deplorable methods they use. Automated menus that prompt you to press certain numbers that will secretly give them access to your information, getting you to answer “yes” to questions in order to have your authorization recorded for the future, and attempting to sell you extravagant items for low, low prices when the purchase will never actually be delivered are a few of their other favorite ploys.
How can you protect yourself? Never answer a phone call if you don’t know who’s calling you. Never believe anything a stranger on the phone tells you, and don’t engage with them. As soon as they start asking for personal information, hang up.
You can also help to protect others by using Glasscaller, a service that allows you to enter a phone number and leave a comment. And you can read the comments left by others. Have a missed call from a phone number you don’t know? Look it up on Glasscaller before calling back, and you might save yourself the hassle of talking to a swindler on the other end.
With Glasscaller’s help, you can fight back against these con artists.