Everyone has a phone nowadays, which makes calling one of the easiest ways to reach people. However, it also makes fraud more prevalent when you have to deal with phone scams. Avoid falling for their schemes with these do’s and don’ts.
DO: Register with the National Do Not Call Registry.
The Federal Trade Commission has a National Do Not Call Registry website through which you can submit your phone number to opt out of telemarketing calls. You can also call 1-888-382-1222. Keep in mind that this will only tell companies not to call you about sales pitches. However, it will lessen the number of unwanted calls, which will help you identify fraud. Any telemarketer contacting you after registering is likely a scammer.
DO: Hang up on robocalls.
If you answer to an automated voice and it’s trying to sell you something, the robocall is most likely a scam. Only companies who have your permission to send you robocalls are allowed to do so, and you can opt out at any time. However, some robocalls are allowed to reach you in instances when they convey information like appointment reminders and prescription refills. If you receive a lot of robocalls that don’t fall under authorized categories, report the numbers to the FTC. Also, don’t further engage with the robocall by dialing numbers, even if it says it’ll direct you to someone who will take you off their call list. You’ll most likely end up receiving more calls in the future.
DON’T: Respond with “Yes.”
If you answer the phone and the caller doesn’t identify themselves immediately, that’s your cue to be suspicious. By law, telemarketers must tell you who they’re representing and what they’re selling. If the caller instead asks, “Are you there?” or “Can you hear me?” don’t answer. Scammers try to get you to respond with “yes” so they can record it, which might be used later to make it seem like you agreed to something you didn’t, like a credit card purchase.
DON’T: Give your personal information.
Many scammers will pose as bank or credit card company employees to trick you into offering information like your account numbers, Social Security number, or other personal information. Most companies won’t ask for this sensitive information over the phone, so if the person on the phone is insistent about getting it from you, they’re likely a fraud.
Keep your finances safe from fraud with the help of Hawaiian Financial Federal Credit Union. With hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and over 60,000 members across Hawaii, we’re one of the leading financial institutions in the state, with a reputation for combining personalized service with technologically advanced personal banking solutions. Learn more about our broad array of services online, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news and updates, or call (808) 832-8700 on Oahu or toll-free at (800) 272-5255 with any questions.