Top 10 Phone Scams

When something sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Check out these top 10 phone scams to keep your private information safe and secure.

1. Google/business listing scams. Businesses learn their business listings on Google are not up to date, or at risk of losing their ranking. So-called consultants, phishing for credit card information and not affiliated with Google, promise to help the business owner in return for a fee. The scam first appeared in 2015 but gained serious traction this year.

2. Loan-related scams. Victims hear offerings to help lower interest rates, or threats that loans are past due. A steady popularity of this fraud in the past year and a half may be due to an emerging trend around payday loans. The scammers frequently use information acquired from legitimate online loan applications to trick victims.

3. Free Vacations. Callers tell receivers they have won a free vacation, hotel stay, or trip. However, fraudsters use high-pressure sales tactics to spur victims to give up credit card information to pay for tax or additional fees.

4. Political calls. With the forthcoming Presidential election, fraudsters are employing politically geared robocalls to arouse consumer interest. They ask for donations and phish for personal information.

5. Local maps verification. This asks businesses to confirm personal information in order to be included in an online maps verification program. With personal information gained via this scam, fraudsters can commit account takeover in multiple channels.

6. Lower an electricity bill. Consumers who want to lower their monthly electricity bill, often presented as a limited time, receive prompts to disclose personal information.

7. Important personal business. This scam only states that the caller has an urgent message concerning important personal business and prompts the victim to press 1 to hear a message claiming the victims owe money.

8. Credit card related scams. This scheme is falling in popularity this year due to stricter surveillance and many shutdowns by the FTC. Here, fraudsters claim that they will help pay off credit card debt faster or lower interest rates. The callers may try to confirm personal and financial information, including existing credit card numbers in order to process the rate reductions.

9. Free home security system. The second most popular 2014 scam is still warning callers of a crime increase in their neighborhood and a friend or neighbor suggested they would be interested in a free security system.

10. Elderly scams. Senior citizens are frequently the targets of consumer scams because fraudsters consider them easy victims. These frauds cover everything from Medicare and health insurance to faulty anti-aging products and even funeral and cemetery plots.

If you are ever uneasy, it is best to end the call and call the company or organization back at a known telephone number to verify the caller before providing any information.

As always, we are here to help! Please give us a call any time you are suspicious of a phone call asking you for account information, and especially if you think you may have provided someone with your banking information.