The communities of Greater Toronto Area has fallen victim to some scams lately as recently reported by Insauga, with the neighbourhoods of Brampton and Mississauga getting much of the scam attacks. The thing with this scam attacks is that they can target even the most unsuspecting of victims, and can happen digitally because of advancements in technology.
Scam and Technology
Not long ago, contracts and purchases had to be made in person for a transaction to push through. Things are very different now as technology had made it possible to sign a contract or authorize a purchase just by voice recognition. ‘Yes!’ is not something you simply say over the phone any more as scammers have found a way to use voice recordings to authorize financial transactions and confirm a purchase in your name.
This is because the act of saying “yes” can be construed to mean the same as “I Agree” or “I Accept” by some websites or when completing certain online transactions. Banks and insurance companies sometimes use the same confirmation when authorizing money transfers and account changes via mobile device or phone call.
This is certainly alarming and it goes without saying that you won’t want to fall victim to this. To help you avoid being a victim of this new phone scam, we’ve compiled a list of safety measures in the next section.
Avoid Falling Victim to a New Phone Scam
While it is best to do financial transactions and account changes in person, it is still possible to be targeted for a phone scam. Minimize your risk by observing the following precautions.
Avoid picking up calls from unknown numbers
Do you know that by just picking up the call, you are signaling to criminals that they can use your details for scams? Scammers may call you telling you that you won a trip, or that a loved one is in the hospital and they need your details. It is easy to be emotional and throw common sense out the window when you are excited or worried so to avoid being victimized by this ploy, simply do not answer calls from unknown locations.
Think about it, if something is really important, the caller will contact you via other means or perhaps leave a voicemail…or even call again. Scammers don’t usually call the same number again and again because they want to move on as fast as possible to their next possible victim.
Exercise caution and skepticism when taking calls from unknown sources
Be extra careful when the caller asks you questions that require a Yes or No answer (such as “is this ___?” or “are you home?”). When you picked up a call that asked something like that and you don’t know who is calling, it is better to reply with another question such as “who is calling, please? or “may I know why you are asking that?”. This usually throws off the scammer and shows that you’re not someone easily manipulated.
Don’t give personal information to strangers
Whether they ask for your personal information or someone you know, just refuse to give personal information. No matter if they claim to be legitimate companies such as your bank or insurance, give an excuse and hang-up. You can always call the company (do not use the call back feature, dial from scratch) to verify.
Not sure if you’ve already been targeted for a phone scam? Our private investigation services may help. Contact us at Haywood Hunt at your earliest convenience to inquire for your free initial consultation.