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Dealing with Scam Phone Calls or Messages:

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Understanding Scams

In today's digital age, scam phone calls and messages have become increasingly common. Cybercriminals use various tactics to target unsuspecting individuals, attempting to steal personal information, money, or even spread malware. It's important to know how to handle such situations to safeguard yourself against potential threats. This guide outlines a simple approach to dealing with scam phone calls or messages, providing you with steps to take if you find yourself in such a situation.

What to do: A Simple Guide

1. Stay calm and don't engage with the Scammer

If you receive a scam call or message, the first thing you should do is stay calm and take a deep breath. Scammers often use tactics to create urgency or panic, so it's important to stay calm and not engage with the scammer. Follow these steps to tackle this situation:

  • Do not share any personal information because legitimate organizations won't ask for personal details over the phone call or text messages.
  • Do not click on any links or download any attachments.

2. End the Call Politely

  • If the call seems suspicious or makes you uncomfortable, politely end the conversation. You can say something like, "I'm not interested, thank you" and hang up.
  • If you're unsure of the caller's identity, hang up
  • If the caller seems to be persistent, hang up
  • If the caller insists on calling back, hang up

3. Do Not Follow Instructions

  • If the caller tries to engage you in a conversation, keep your responses brief and avoid providing additional information.
  • Scammers might ask you to perform certain actions like providing bank details, making payments, or downloading files. Do not follow their instructions.
  • If the caller wants to confirm your address or last 4 digits of your SSN, declined to provide this information, and hang up
  • If you receive a call that says to press any key to confirm or Scammer says to press 1 to be removed from call list, Don't press 1 to be removed from the list, as this will only confirm that your number is active.
  • In some cases, scammers might use techniques to make you call back. If you're unsure about the call, avoid calling back the number provided.

4. Verify the Caller after you have ended the call

  • If you receive a call that raises any suspicion, hang up immediately. Don't engage in conversation.
  • Verify the caller's identity by using official contact information from trusted sources.
    For example: If he is calling you from your bank, office, or any other organization, simple go to their official website and look up the phone number and verify the number.
  • If you're not sure if the caller is real or not, you can visit the official website of the organization they claim to be from. Then you can call them directly from the contact information on their website to check if they really called you.

    Note -> To make sure who called you, it's best not to call back the same number that you got the call from. Instead, use the official contact information from the organization they say they're from to verify their identity.

5. Report the Call

  • Please scroll down to find the ways to report the call, or click here to jump to that section.

6. Download Anti-Spam Application to Block Spam Calls Automatically

  • Trucaller
  • Kaspersky
  • Hiya
  • Robokiller

7. Educate Yourself

Learn about common scam tactics and stay informed about the latest scams circulating in your area. This knowledge will help you recognize and avoid such calls in the future.
Some phones label suspicious phone numbers as spam. So, if you see a number like that on your phone, be careful and maybe don't answer it.

How and Where to Report

If you're sure that the caller is trying to trick you, here's what you should do:

1. Report the Call and Incident to Federeral Trade Commission (FTC)

  • You can report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by visiting this website: reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/assistant. When you're there, pick the category that matches the kind of scam you experienced. If you're unsure, you can choose "Something else," just like it's shown in the picture below.

  • You also have the option to call 1-877-FTC-HELP to report the scam.

  • Note!
    • Be as specific as possible when reporting the scam. Include the date, time, and phone number of the call or message, as well as any other details you can remember.
    • If you have any screenshots or recordings of the call or message, attach them to your report.
    • If you know the name of the company or organization that the scammer is pretending to be from, include that information as well.

2. Block the Number on your Phone

  • Select the number you received the call from

  • Blocking and reporting options can vary depending on your phone model. Look for three dots in the top right corner—usually, that's where you'll find it. Once you spot it, you can either block the number or report it as spam.

  • If you choose the "report" button, you might need to provide some details. Pick the category that matches the type of spam call you got.

3. How to Recognize Scam Messages

Scammers also use messages to deceive. Here are some signs to watch for:

  • Messages requesting money or personal information are likely scams.
  • Be cautious of messages that claim you've won a prize or offer you a deal that seems too good to be true.
  • Spelling errors, unusual sender addresses, and generic greetings can indicate a scam.
  • If you're not sure about a message's legitimacy, don't click on any links or reply to it.

For more information and guidance please visit WikiHow

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