Scam callers, also known as robocalls, are a pervasive and growing nuisance. These unsolicited calls aim to trick people into providing personal information or money, often using fear or the promise of some reward. This month, we have seen a surge in certain types of scam calls. Here are the top three scam callers to watch out for in May 2023.
1. The 'Amazon' Customer Service Scam
The first of these scams comes in the guise of "Amazon Customer Service". The caller claims there has been suspicious activity on your Amazon account, such as a high-value purchase, or your account being accessed from a different location. They may even send you a text message or an email that looks convincingly like it's from Amazon.
The aim is to make you anxious so that you're more likely to comply with their requests without thinking. They'll typically ask you to confirm your account details, sometimes including your credit card information, or they'll direct you to a fake website to 'secure your account.'
Remember, genuine customer service agents from Amazon will never ask for sensitive personal or financial information over the phone or through email. If you're unsure, hang up and contact Amazon directly using the contact information provided on their official website.
2. The 'Social Security Administration' Scam
Another prevalent scam call this month is the 'Social Security Administration' (SSA) scam. The scammer poses as an SSA official and claims that there is an issue with your Social Security number, such as it being linked to criminal activity. They may threaten to freeze your Social Security benefits or tell you that your number has been suspended.
The goal of these calls is to scare you into providing your Social Security number or other personal information. They might also ask you to pay a fine or fee using an unconventional payment method like gift cards or wire transfers.
The SSA will never call you about such issues. They communicate through official letters. If you receive such a call, hang up immediately and report it to the SSA's Office of the Inspector General.
3. The 'Tech Support' Scam
The third scam on the list is the 'Tech Support' scam. Scammers impersonate representatives from big tech companies like Microsoft or Apple, claiming that they've detected a virus or an issue with your computer. They may ask for remote access to your computer or for your login credentials, supposedly to fix the problem.
In reality, they either want to install malicious software that can steal your personal information, or they might hold your computer hostage until you pay a ransom.
Real tech companies will not proactively reach out to offer unsolicited help with your computer. If you're in doubt, hang up and contact the company directly using the number provided on their official website.
Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, but by being vigilant and knowing what to look for, you can avoid falling victim to these tactics. Remember, if a call feels suspicious, it probably is. Never give out personal or financial information over the phone unless you initiated the call and you're confident in the identity of the person on the other end. If in doubt, hang up and contact the company directly using their official contact information.
Stay safe and be scam aware!