How to Prevent Falling for Mobile Phone Scams

How to Prevent Falling for Mobile Phone Scams
July 25, 2018 Felicity Anderson

Mobile phone scams show no sign of going anywhere and so it pays to think twice before responding to that call from an unknown number.

As more and more of us are conned out of our cash via our smartphones, here CashLady looks at the top tricks adopted by fraudsters and advises how to prevent falling for mobile phone scams.

Have you been caught out by a mobile phone scam?

When we think of technology scams we often imagine vulnerable older people being targeted and duped of their cash, however, it’s the younger generation that is falling foul of mobile phone fraud.

Figures from news site This is Money show that in 2017 those aged under 25 were 75 percent more likely to have been scammed through their phones than those aged 55 or over.

Likely down to the higher levels of trust that younger people have in their phones compared to their elders, these figures highlight the importance of familiarising yourself with scammers tricks, what-ever your age.

Below we round up some of the current mobile phone scams to watch out for.

Top mobile phone scams

‘Wangiri fraud’ mobile phone scam

Japanese for “one and cut,” the mobile phone scam that originated in Japan has tricked thousands of callers across the globe through missed calls from unknown numbers based in Cuba, Slovenia and West Africa.

Lured into returning missed calls to mysterious overseas numbers, mobile phone users are then held on the line with hold music, or an audiobook and face a nasty surprise when they hang up and view their phone bill.

Saddled with hefty charges for calls to premium numbers, the scammers make more money through this scam the longer that they keep mobile users on the call.

Bank account mobile phone scams

A scam that targets both landline and mobile phone users, bank account security breach scams are when fraudsters call up pretending to be from your bank, stating that there’s been a security breach on your account and that needs your attention.

They’ll be quick to ask for your bank account details and passwords, plus any other personal information that they can potentially use to drain your bank account and steal your identity.

Computer help phone scams

Another scam that continues to catch many people out, the computer help con is designed to access your computer to steal personal information, such as your bank details.

Fraudsters will call your mobile telling you that they are from Microsoft or another well-known name and that your computer has a virus that only they have the ability to remove.

Encouraging you to download malicious software or requesting remote access to your machine, their goal is to steal personal information stored on there.

a girl is texting on her phone

Preventing a mobile phone scam

While mobile phone scams are prevalent, there are lots of ways to help ensure that you don’t fall for them.

One: Don’t respond

Unsolicited calls or texts from unknown numbers, particularly those from overseas, should always be treated with caution.

While it can be tempting to respond to that missed call or tantalising text, consider whether it could really be from someone that you know or whether it’s more likely to be a scam.

Two: Verify the call or text message

Don’t be afraid to verify the details if you’re suspicious about a call or a text from a number claiming to be your bank or a supplier that you use.

Simply hang up the call and contact the company directly using their official contact details, not ones supplied in the text or by the caller.  If it is your bank, then use the contact details on the back of your debit card.

Three: Don’t panic

Fraudsters will typically try to pressure you over the phone, causing you to panic and hand over personal information before you’ve had time to question the legitimacy of the call.

Don’t panic and think carefully before agreeing to anything, handing over cash or giving out personal information.

Four:  Never share sensitive information

Your bank will never call you out of the blue and ask for sensitive information, such as account details and passwords so alarm bells should ring if you receive such as a call.

In these situations, simply hang up and contact your bank using the number on the back of your debit card.