If you thought that by switching from a landline to wireless, you will somehow circumvent scammers who constantly attempt to swindle your money away, you couldn’t have been more wrong, because scammers thrive on wireless phones. A survey has been conducted by Truecaller telecommunications company in order to see how many people actually fall for these scams and how much money gets funneled into the pockets of hackers or other malicious parties.
When comparing 2015 to 2014, the numbers of scams showed the common consumer trend of ditching landlines in order to switch to wireless. Scammers using wireless calls in order to conduct their malicious practice were almost double in number when compared to 2014, around 75% of all scams made.
An estimated 27 million US citizens reported money lost through scams last year, around 53% more than the year before that. Around $7.4 billion were lost in these fraudulent transactions, averaging at $274 per victim.
This is not entirely surprising, given the fact that various firms reported hacking attacks in which people’s names, phone numbers or other similar personal information, were gathered. But this is not the only way through which hackers can get a hold of your phone number.
Cellphones bought from black markets or in second-hand shops are usually not wiped clean entirely. If the hacker is somewhat tech savvy, he can easily access stored data in order to gain phone numbers and names in order to conduct their scams. Once he has a potentially viable dialing list, he feeds it into an automated dialing machine. Once an unexpected citizen answers, he immediately gets on the line and starts to offer various services which are in fact nothing more than scams.
One of the most prevalent scams last year was in the form of IRS scams made by hackers who claim that if an immediate sum isn’t sent towards their way, the unsuspecting person might face jail time due to overdue taxes. One has to keep in mind that the IRS rarely makes calls, usually sending a letter if something is not in order in regards to your taxes.
If you think that the person on the other end of the line is a scammer, you should immediately hang up. If he offers prizes from sweepstakes or other enticing opportunities, you should ask for his number in order to call back, his full name and call location, in order to verify if he is legit or not.
Taking into account the fact that scammers thrive on wireless phones, one should exercise a higher degree of caution when called by an unknown number. Avoiding internet sweepstakes or surveys that ask for your phone number is also an advisable method of securing your personal information in a more reliable way.