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New Year New Phone Scams - We Got You Covered!

If you were hoping that we will get a break from phone scams in 2021, sadly, there is no sleep for the wicked. As you are about to see in this article, phone scammers still find a way despite our best efforts and the US state and federal government doing what they can.

Suppose you take into consideration that First Orion's Annual Phone Scam Call Report exposed how scammers were able to get 270% more personal information in 2020 than they did in 2019. In that case, there is no reason to think that this trend won't continue in 2021.

So what do we look for?

Continual use of COVID 19 healthcare and vaccination process

The biggest tool phone scammers have is our fear, and they are not afraid to use it against us. Right now, the health of our loved ones and our own health is our biggest fear, and that is precisely why phone scams are aimed at precisely that.

CDC has become aware that the general public members are receiving calls appearing to originate from CDC through caller ID. They are receiving scammer voice mail messages saying the caller is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some calls are requesting donations. Of course, this is not how a government agency functions thus you will not be asked over the phone for any type of personal information and contributions.

The second common scam is related to your aces to the vaccines. Keep in mind that the federal government has outlined the vaccine rollout schedule, and there's no way to jump the line. You can't pay to skip ahead of health care professionals, long-term care facility residents and workers, senior adults, educators, firefighters, police officers, agricultural workers, and other essential workers in priority groups.

The best way to protect yourself is to ignore unsolicited phone calls asking you to pay for priority access to a COVID-19 vaccine. Don't click on online advertisements, event pages, or other web pages that promise priority access for a fee.

The 'One Ring' phone scams are still very active

The first thing you need to understand - for illegal robocallers, the goal isn't always getting you to answer. Sometimes, it's getting you to call back. This is something many people do not consider, which is precisely why this type of scam has been so fruitful.

Every now and then, your phone might ring once and then simply stop. You might think that something happened, the caller was interrupted, or they dialed the wrong number. But remember, if that happens to you, and the number calling you is an unknown, make sure you do not return the call. There is a high likelihood that you are the target of a 'one ring' phone scam, and by calling back, you have entered their domain.

Take into consideration that the numbers calling you might even seem familiar, but do not react immediately. You should check out which state they are coming from. If it is California, using the California white pages search is your best option to avoid being scammed. Check out who's calling you before you call them back. It is as simple as that. Fast, easy, and free of charge, and you will feel comfortable calling them back.

The 'one call' scam, like many others, counts on us reacting instinctually rather than taking the time and considering the situation. But when you are aware of such scams and how they operate, taking the basic precautions is in your best interest. When you uncover such a scam, do not forget to report it that way, you can help the US government fight against robocalls and phone scams far more efficiently.

Sadly the 'grandparent scam' is likely to continue

Most COVID 19 measures are still active and will continue to be throughout 2021. This means that a lot of elderly will not get to see their families any time soon. It is on that sense of sadness and desire to connect that the horrible phone scammers are praying.

The scam itself has a fairly straightforward plot; the person on the other line will pretend to be the older victim's grandson or granddaughter. They'll then concoct a story ending with a request for immediate financial assistance. Often, tricked seniors will end up sending money via wire transfer to the scammers as a result. That is such emotional abuse, not to mention a very serious crime.

You need to have a talk with your elderly about this. Explain that if you are truly in dire straits, you will use a specific code word so that they know it is you and not someone pretending to be you. Advise them to hang up the phone and call either their children or grandchildren to verify the situation. Under no circumstances should they send money without verification. It is essential that they don't fall for this scam. It is also important that family members maintain adequate contact with their elderly to prevent the loneliness and depression that follow long stretches of time without seeing their loved ones.

In conclusion

As you can see, scams vary quite a lot, and they can target different emotional triggers so as to get the desired result. Whether it is your health scare, love for a family member, or desire to help others, they are not beneath exploiting any of those things for profit without any remorse.

It is important to stay vigilant, as phone scammers are doing their best to ensure their scam work and exploit our vulnerability. Getting informed in time and discovering the possible ways they might scam you and your loved ones over the phone gives you the upper hand.

But it is when you hang up the phone without answering it and look up the number that is calling you that you are taking power back and that matters the most.

Finally, make sure you report any such number so that others can stay safe as well.

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