It is easy to presume that only unintelligent people get scammed. Astonishingly, many incidents have proved that no matter intelligent or not, these days everyone is potentially vulnerable to manifold scams. No doubt, the recent IRS Scam has become the talk of the town! Fraudsters merely employ modern technology in conjunction with conventional tricks in order to confuse even the righteous. Not just technology but also individuals get smart in using smart devices. Today let us browse through some simple practices to prevent smartphone scams from hitting you.
1. Freebies might stink.
Popular marketing gimmick around free gifts, free Wi-Fi access, free mobile software or free
subscriptions are great choices to save money. However, remember as wise people say, there are no free meals in this world! Such schemes are aimed to get the users addicted to particular products and as a result you end up spending a lot of money. Be careful while exploring schemes and verify cancellation policies for free trials. Not only your phone but also yourself get exposed to potential threats. If the schemes are run by frauds your data might get compromised and cause you greater loss.
2. Test before you trust.
Gone are the days of "believe what you see" philosophy. Thoroughly see what you believe is
extremely relevant in this deceptive digital globe. If not all many mobile websites and mobile apps look stunningly familiar to the popular ones almost tempting users to hit a visit. Always look before you leap .They usually impersonate official websites, emails, logos, fonts and even the caller IDs creating an illusion of legitimate entities so that they can gain trust. Hence it is imperative to scrutinize every detail before placing the trust on what you perceive as to what lies under the carpet.
3. Hurrying will probably leave you worrying.
Aggressive marketing tactics include limited period offers or first-come-first-serve offers and are
implemented by many lawful companies. Chances are, even the malevolent can apply such pressure marketing techniques. They can force users to buy a faulty investment scheme without thinking or provide vital identity details/pre-payment for loans offers and mortgage help. Their aim is to make the probable victim to perform without allowing time to think or consult any of your well-wishers or financial consultants in case of payments. Decisions made in a hurry might land into problematic situations. So if you receive alarming/pressurizing marketing phone calsl/SMS/emails, take your time before making an important decision.
4. Share wisely when on internet.
Today social media, dating sites, forums and chat rooms have become an inevitable part of on the go lifestyle. People often exchange phone numbers, birthdates, and credit card numbers over chats/emails. People may post personal information on social media as they feel safe among trusted friends, family or potential romantic partners. Hackers can confine your phone number, transfer it to another carrier and access your bank accounts, often called as port-out scams. Issue is once your phone number is gained the two factor verification can easily be evaded. One need to use brains and not just heart when on the internet or else you might fall in the trap of rampant scams.
5. Think twice before tapping a link.
Email/text marketing can be harmful, if originated from unsolicited sources. Phishing is one of the universal ways to get you on malicious sites. Hence avoid clicking on links and attachments within emails/ text messages as clicking these links may cause a malware download or take you to unsafe sites prompting to fill in sensitive personal data. Think twice before clicking any link, as the security breach has already reported identity stealth for numerous customers from reputed firms.
6. Working with local business is a smart choice.
Phones are extremely comfortable for online shopping or hiring some basic services like plumbing or furniture and fixtures. It is always better to look for locals as they have proper licensing, insurance and identification for their business. These contractors would visit your home on your phone call, so it is advisable to think smartly and take local help to avoid unpleasant surprises. Moreover you can research the feedback not only online but also get a fair idea from your local acquaintances that have already used their services or products.
7. Secure your device as well as transaction
International call routing, banking scams, Verizon bill credit and IRS scams are some very common fraudulent scams that took place via smart phones. Always secure your phone with proper software that not only protects from network issues but also alerts about latest scams. Generating strong passwords, using authenticator apps instead of the two step SMS verification, keeping track of PINs and passwords for a bank account and phone carrier services are recommended practices. Avoid contract- free handshake deals, cash only deals or over payments. The transactions should be traceable and secure, hence payment using gift cards, wire transfers or prepaid cards should be kept away.
Being a victim of identity theft or scam and recovering from it, is no doubt an expensive affair but also a heartburning experience. You can use anything to minimize the susceptibility of cell phone scams. Sign Up for fraud alerts on government sites, hang up on fake calls, search the internet for Caller ID authenticity or report the incidents to the FTC; being proactively vigilant in day to day activities involved around sharing information remains a mandate. Aptly stating- precaution is better than cure!