This Scam Begins with a Silent Phone Call
Last updated: September 9, 2015
We've all received phone calls that begin with silence. These autodialed calls can be annoying but did you know that they could lead to fraud or Identity Theft? Autodialed calls are also known as "robocalls." While many robocalls are selling products or services, some are trying to steal your financial information.
In one type of scam, an initial robocall is made to verify that the phone number reaches a person. Then another call is made that attempts to gather information about your credit card or bank account using scare tactics to make you pay attention to the message. Their goal is to collect details that they can use to commit fraud or Identity Theft. Target data includes bank account numbers, Social Security number, date of birth, credit card numbers, PINs, expiration dates.
Examples of other scams include:
- The "IRS" scam: A caller claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service and demands immediate payment for unpaid taxes.
- "Rachel from Card Services" which promises to permanently lower your credit card interest rate.
What Can You Do About These Calls?
If you receive a call, hang up. Don't press any numbers. Pressing a specified number won't connect you to an operator or take your phone number off their list but it may cause you to get more robocalls.
Don't give your bank account numbers, credit and debit card numbers, usernames, passwords, or any other sensitive information to someone calling you. If the call raises concerns about your account, contact the financial institution or business through a known good phone number such as one found on your statement or their website.
Put your phone numbers-landline, mobile, VOIP-on the Do Not Call Registry. While this won't stop the illegal calls, it will reduce the number of legitimate calls.
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