Is a phone call a scam? 6 things that will let you know

There are some very unscrupulous characters who try to financially prey on unsuspecting individuals today and many of them use a phone call to do it.

Whether you get a call on your cell phone or landline, you should be aware of when a phone call isn’t on the level.

Here are six things to help you ascertain whether or not an unsolicited phone call is really a scam.

You’ve been chosen

If the caller tells you that you’ve been selected to receive an amount of money, it should raise a big red flag.

A caller will usually say you’ve been chosen to receive a grant or some other kind of funds and will tell you all you have to do it pay a processing fee. Hang up and report the call.

You’re a prize winner

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If the caller tells you that you’ve won a major prize like an all expenses paid vacation or a large amount of money and all you have to do is pay a processing fee, it’s likely a scam call.

Never give your credit card information to these callers. Contests that are legitimate aren’t allowed to ask for a fee.

Foreign lottery tickets

A caller who asks you to buy a ticket for a foreign lottery is likely a scammer.

Although these foreign lotteries do exist, if it is on the level and you did win, chances are you would never be able to collect your money, so it’s best to stay clear of these lotteries.

Gift or bonus with purchase

If a caller tries to get you to buy something over the phone and offers you a gift or a bonus if you buy, it might be sketchy.

It’s best just to say, “no thanks,” and hang up. You have no way of knowing if the company is for real. Knowing how to communicate what you’re feeling in these instances, will help.

You owe the government money

When someone poses as being a caller from the IRS and tells you that you owe taxes and demands payment telling you that you might suffer extreme consequences if you don’t pay, it’s best to hang up and do some more investigating.

This is a popular scam in the U.S, and Canada. If you do owe the government money, you will likely be sent a letter telling you so rather than getting a phone call.

Threaten you with arrest

Many times, these callers intimidate people by telling them they will be arrested if they don’t offer up personal information. They want to instill fear to try to get information. Hang up and report any threats to the authorities.

The telephone still remains a scammer’s weapon of choice. Being armed with good instincts regarding these calls is a great way to protect yourself!

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