You’ve heard the story over and over again of someone being scammed out money, sometimes thousands of dollars because they were in fear of their freedom or the safety of a loved one.
It’s all because scammers and con-artists have access to our phone numbers.
More than 10,000 victims and $54 million have been lost in the past five years because of phone scams, and that’s just what was reported to the IRS.
As these scams show no signs of slowing down, we found out how to protect our phone numbers.
Many of us have resorted to simply not answering calls from foreign numbers, which seemed to be effective, but the scammers evolved and began what’s known as ‘spoofing’ calls from local area codes.
“The good news is there are a few things you can do, the bad news is you can’t prevent them”, says Sharane Gott with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana.
So, as a measure of safety, registering with the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry can be helpful, but that doesn’t mean to let your guard down.
“We are seeing scammers be very innovative and being able to work around those issues, the Do-Not-Call list as well.” State Attorney General Jeff Landry says.
Minimize giving out your number. When filing our sweepstakes forms, listing your phone number is an option. If it’s not mandatory, don’t list it.
“What happens is once you are on that list, they’re going to sell that list and the first thing you know, you’ll be on all kinds of telephone lists,” Gott says.
The best way to protect yourself is to stay aware; know that scammers are out there and they want your money.
If there’s an ongoing issue in your neighborhood or community, or you have questions that need answers, Dial Dalfred at 262-0868.