With almost everything accessible at our fingertips, we still need to be cautious about mobile scams, especially phishing. In 2022 alone, 2.4 million fraud complaints were filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and almost $8.8 billion were the reported losses. Given this alarming number, it would be best to step up your game in mobile security to keep your phone safe and your mind at ease. Let’s first get a better overview of what phishing is all about.
Phishing is one of the many mobile scams that use social engineering to obtain your personal information. It works by hackers pretending to be a reputable organization to get you to reveal your personal data. They call or send you deceptive messages or emails and play with your emotions for you to trust them.
Once they successfully manipulate you, expect all the worst things that can happen. It’s either they use your identity to scam more people or take all the money from your bank account. With all these at risk, it’s crucial to learn some ways to identify and avoid phishing. Let’s get started!
Identifying Mobile Scams
While phishing can manifest itself as unwanted text messages, phone calls, or emails from random numbers, it can still get you. Thus, it’s critical to conduct risk assessments and watch out for warning signs to prevent this mobile scam. Below are a few of them:
Has Poor Grammar
As simple as it is, you can actually identify a scam if you notice poor spelling and sentence construction. No reputable organization would send a message that’s not well thought of. Most messages they write undergo too many revisions before they use it for marketing. Thus, if you see grammatical errors in a spam message or email, it’s probably a scam.
Asks for Sensitive Information
This is another red flag that you should watch out for. There’s no legal company that will ask for your bank account number, social security number, and even account login. So, if they’d ask for this information over the phone, report and block them immediately.
Sends You Sketchy Links
Usually, phishing messages and emails often have a link that can give threat actors free access to your sensitive data the moment you click on it. It’s sort of a passageway for them to install malware or viruses on your device. Thus, it’s best if you do not click on them or just delete the message.
Gives Promises that are Good To Be True
Offerings of services, such as low-risk, high-return investments, that seem too good to be true are already a warning sign. You know that every investment is a gamble since you have no influence over how the market changes. Thus, if someone offers those grand promises or claims you won a prize for something you didn’t even participate in, know that it’s a scam.
If not something good, scammers may pose like a financial corporation and claim that you owe money to them. They will pressure you and use your frustration just hearing about it to get what they want. Thus, know that if you ever get something like this on a call, a message, or an email, it’s a scam.
Now that we learned how to identify mobile scams, let’s see how you can avoid them.
Ways To Avoid Mobile Scams
Do Your Research
Always do your research before becoming involved in anything. By doing so, you can confirm the veracity of any assertions or data that a con artist might make. Thus, you can avoid getting scammed.
Never Engage in a Conversation with Unknown Numbers
Besides researching, it’s a good practice to ignore spam calls and messages if you ever get them. Never answer a call that rings once from an unknown number or a text you find sketchy. Doing so can just lead to something horrible. What you want to do is just delete them because there’s still a chance you’ll open one and click a link unaware, which could allow hackers to gain access to your accounts.
Block and Report Spam Messages and Calls
Blocking the phone numbers and emails that send you spam messages is also ideal. That way, they won’t be able to bother you again. However, before you do that, you might want to report those first to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They’ll be in charge of handling the situation and, if possible, eliminating the number.
Don’t Share Personal Data Over The Phone
If the one contacting you may seem convincing, you still must not reveal personal information. Always remember that asking for sensitive data over the phone is a red flag.
Put Your Number on FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry
Finally, it’s a good idea to register your phone with FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry. The majority of legitimate telemarketers won’t call you if you’re on the registry, so even if it won’t stop spam calls, it will make them easier to recognize.
The number of people getting scammed by phishing continues to grow. Having said that, it’s imperative to learn some ways to identify and avoid these mobile scams. Follow our tips to protect yourself from the risks that come with mobile scams.