Three ways to prevent phone scams

Three ways to prevent phone scams


Imagine this scenario. Your phone rings. Your bank’s number shows up on the caller ID, so you answer. The caller says they are reaching out about some possible fraudulent charges to your bank account. Before they can discuss the charges, they need to gather some personal information from you to verify that you are the owner of the account.

Would you provide the information?

This seemingly helpful call from your bank could actually be a scammer trying to gather your personal information as part of an identity fraud scheme. They use technology to make the call appear to come from your bank, a tactic called spoofing. They concoct a stressful scenario of possible financial loss to get you to let your guard down.

This type of scam is becoming all too common. Bad actors can pose as banks, government officials, credit repair companies and even charities to try and pry sensitive information and payments out of you over the phone.

Protect yourself from phone scammers.

First of all, it’s important to know that your bank will never call you out of the blue and ask for personal information like your social security number or bank account number over the phone. Beyond that, the Federal Trade Commission encourages you to do the following three things when you receive a call you think is a scam:





Don’t provide information, answer questions or make any keypad selections. Just hang up the phone if you are suspicious. If they claimed to be a company you do business with, call them back using a published phone number from the company’s official website.


Mobile phone, traditional landline and VoIP carriers often offer blocking services to prevent future calls. Do some research and employ this service to shut scammers down.


Don’t make any assumptions about who is calling you based on caller ID. Proceed with calls as if there is a chance the person on the other end is using spoofing technology to fool you.

You can report suspicious calls at Additionally, if you receive a call from someone purporting to be with your bank, please report them to your bank through an official channel as soon as possible.

For additional information about identity theft, phishing scams and online security, visit our Security Center.

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