Robocalls, Scammers and Fraud! Oh My!
Have you ever received a text message from someone you do not know, answered a phone call only to have it be a robocall, or clicked a link and found out it was not real? You are not alone! While technology is wonderful at keeping us in touch with our friends and family, it can come with annoyances and risks. Avoid and block these fraudulent interruptions by using these tips and tricks. It may save you a lot of trouble.
One of the most frustrating things is to get a phone call from a number you do not recognize, answer it, and have it be a robocall. Unfortunately, finding cell phone numbers has become very easy for scammers. Receiving these calls is inevitable. Here are some tips to lessen the number of unwanted calls you receive and block the ones that you do receive.
Avoid and block
The best thing to do when an unknown call comes across your phone is to ignore it. Do not answer any calls from a number you do not recognize. This will discourage the same scammers from trying over and over again.
Another thing you can do is block the number. Once you block the number, that specific number can never call again. Blocking a number is quite simple! Here is how to block a number on an iOS device and an Android device:
Open the “Phone” app (identified by the phone icon), then hit “Contacts.” Scroll until you find the contact you want to block, then tap their name. Tap the three vertical dots located in the top-right corner, then select “Block numbers” from the drop-down menu. Select “Block.”
Open the “Phone” app (identified by the phone icon), then tap “Recents.” Hit the “Info” button next to the number you’d like to block. Scroll down and tap ‘Block this Caller’
Unknown Text Messages
Lately, scammers have been getting creative in their ways to contact people. They have started using text messaging and are very realistic. They have become so believable that it is hard to decipher what is real and what might be a scam.
Some text messages to avoid will come from:
- Unrecognized or “Unknown” phone numbers
- Messages claiming to be from delivery companies such as USPS, UPS, Amazon, eBay, or Fedex
- Messages that provide a link that must be clicked to receive information
- Messages that appear to come from an email address
Blocking text messages
If you begin to receive text messages similar to these examples, block them. Never click any links through a text message unless the source is known and the number is verified. It is also best to avoid responding to the message if you are unsure of who or where the message is coming from.
To block text messages on an iOS device, open the “Messages” app. Then tap on the conversation with the contact you’d like to block. Tap the contact at the top of the conversation, then hit the info button. Scroll down and tap “Block this Caller.”
To block a text message on an Android device, open the “Messages” app. On the Home screen, touch and hold the conversation you want to block. Tap “Block.” Select “OK.”
Some messages will come with an option where you can reply with the word “STOP” to cancel receiving messages from that contact any longer. If this option is available, do so. If the messages continue, it is best to block the contact.
Phishing, identity protection and other scams
Phishing, identity theft and other scams are also potential problems. Protect yourself by staying in the know.
Escaping Fraudulent Texts and Calls
Fraudulent messages and calls are bound to happen. There is nothing anyone can do about that, but there are always ways to escape pesky scammers. Utilize these simple steps to avoid distractions and annoyances from your cell phone.