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What Are ‘Scam Likely’ Calls and How to Block Them

    What Are Scam Likely Calls and How to Block - Softwarecosmos.com

    Have you ever answered an unknown call only to hear a prerecorded message telling you that there’s something wrong with your social security number or credit card? If so, you’ve likely received a “scam likely” call. These automated nuisance calls are so common that most people aren’t even surprised to get them anymore. However, they can still be annoying and even pose a risk if personal information is accidentally shared.

    In this article, we will take an in-depth look at scam-likely calls and provide you with tips and strategies to help block them. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of these nuisance calls and know how to take your power back from the telemarketers and robocallers targeting you.

    What are Scam Likely Calls?

    As the name implies, scam likely calls are phone calls that are very likely to be scams or fraud attempts.

    They are usually automated robocalls that play pre-recorded messages to try and solicit personal information from the recipient or get them to send money. Some common varieties of scam likely calls include:

    What Are Scam Likely Calls and How to Block Them - Softwarecosmos.com

    Social Security Scams

    These calls warn recipients that their social security number has been suspended or cancelled due to fraudulent activity. They then try to get sensitive details like your SSN in order to “reinstate” or “verify” it. Of course, sharing this information would just put you at risk of identity theft.

    Government Impostor Scams

    Robocalls impersonating the IRS, Social Security Administration, or other government agencies claim you owe money like back taxes or fines. They demand payment by wired funds or prepaid debit cards to avoid arrest. However, government agencies don’t call people out of the blue this way or demand payments like that.

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    Utility Scams

    Utility company impostor calls threaten to cut off power, water, or services unless an immediate overdue payment is made – often requiring payment by iTunes gift cards. Real utility companies don’t make unsolicited calls like that or demand unusual payment methods.

    Grandparent Scams

    An emotional robocall pretends to be a grandchild in distress, like being in the hospital or jail abroad. They claim to need help and request money be wired right away. However, a grandchild would never ask a relative to wire money without confirming who they are first.

    So in summary, scam likely calls are unsolicited robocalls that try to frighten, mislead, or pressure recipients into sharing private financial details or sending money through unconventional means like wire transfers or gift cards. Their main goal is to exploit fears or confusion for illegal profit.

    How Do You Know if a Call is Scam Likely?

    There are some tells that can indicate a call may be a scam:

    Unknown Caller ID

    If the caller ID shows an unrecognizable phone number, particularly one from overseas, it’s likely a scam attempt hiding the true origin.

    Unsolicited Outreach

    Any unrequested call asking for personal information like your date of birth, Social Security number, bank details, etc., is a red flag.

    Demands for Immediate Action

    Legitimate organizations won’t scare you into on-the-spot decisions by threatening legal action or service disconnections if you don’t pay or respond instantly.

    Requests for Unconventional Payments

    Wiring money, buying gift cards, cryptocurrency or other untraceable transactions are huge warning signs of a scam, not real payment options.

    Poor Voice Quality

    Many scam robocalls are badly disguised because they come through VoIP systems instead of standard phone lines. The audio may sound robotic, echoey or garbled.

    Pressure Tactics and Fear Mongering

    Threatening, yelling, or raising panic to hurry you into complying without thinking clearly are manipulation tactics used by scammers. Stay calm, and don’t make rash decisions.

    So if a call checks off more than one of these signs, it’s almost certainly a scam attempt. The wise approach is to avoid engaging and instead look up contact details online to verify any issues directly.

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    How Do You Block Scam Likely Calls?

    How to stop scams? The good news is there are effective steps you can take to help block scam-like calls from reaching your phone in the first place. Here are some useful strategies:

    How Do You Know if a Call is Scam Likely - Softwarecosmos.com

    Register with the Do Not Call Registry

    This is still free to sign up for at donotcall.gov. It greatly reduces telemarketing calls but may not stop scammers using illegal spoofing tech.

    Enable Caller ID and Spam Filters

    Most modern smartphones come equipped with built-in caller ID and spam filtering features. These tools analyze incoming calls and compare them against a database of known scam numbers. By enabling these features on your phone, you can automatically identify and block scam likely calls or scam callers.

    Use Your Phone Carrier’s Fraud/Spam Filter

    All big phone companies now have a feature to block unknown calls and stop unwanted calls. You can find out how to turn on this feature by checking your account or asking for help from customer support.”

    Download a Call Blocking App

    If you have an Android phone, you can download apps like Nomorobo or Hiya easily. These apps, like Should I Answer, use caller ID databases to identify and block telemarketing and scam numbers automatically.

    Selective Call Acceptance

    Flag your phone to only receive calls from contacts, limiting unknown calls that require screening first before answering.

    Set Up Custom Caller ID Blocking

    On iPhone, add specific numbers, area codes or prefixes to routinely silence unknown callers from those origins before they ring through.

    Use a Home Phone System Filter

    Equipment like the Telus SmartHome phone can screen landlines to prevent interruptions from identified telemarketers and scammers.

    Be Cautious with Personal Information

    One of the most effective ways to protect yourself from scam-like calls is to be cautious with your personal information. Avoid sharing sensitive details, such as your social security number or financial information, over the phone unless you are certain of the caller’s authenticity. Legitimate organizations will rarely ask for such information over an unsolicited phone call.

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    Don’t Engage with Scammers

    If you receive a scam likely call, it’s important not to engage with the scammer. Do not provide any personal information, make payments, or follow any instructions given during the call. Instead, hang up immediately and report the call to your phone carrier, as well as any relevant authorities.

    Report Scam Calls

    Document phone numbers used in scam attempts at ftc.gov/complaint to help authorities track criminal operations and add to blacklists.

    The key to blocking scam-likely calls is combining registration tools with active screening options offered through your carrier or third-party apps. Persistence and vigilance are needed as scammers adapt tactics, but these steps make it much harder for illegitimate callers to disturb you.

    What to Do if You Answer a Scam Likely Call

    Despite precautions, it’s possible a scam call could still break through. Resist the urge to engage – hanging up is the safest response. But if you do answer by mistake, remember:

    • Stay calm and don’t panic. Scammers exploit strong emotions.
    • Do not confirm or provide any personal details. Legit organizations already have your information on file.
    • Definitely do not transfer money, give account credentials or read codes off gift cards – that enables identity theft or direct fraud.
    • Consider asking casually obtuse questions to waste their time, or just say “no thank you” and hang up.
    • You can tell them to put you on their do not call list, although scammers rarely comply officially.
    • Log details of the scam script or threats for authorities if it was an especially aggressive attempt.

    The bottom line is to avoid conversation, do not take the bait, and end the call as quickly as possible without engaging further or becoming a target. Educating elderly relatives to respond similarly is also prudent. Simply disconnecting is often the wisest self-protective move.

    Conclusion

    Scams likely plague millions of people and become a nuisance and potential risk if not managed properly. By registering for do not call protections, leveraging blocking tools from carriers or third parties, and knowing how to identify and immediately end questionable calls, you can take proactive steps to curb unwanted solicitation attempts. Being informed about common scams as well as your rights empowers you not to fall victim or share sensitive data accidentally. With diligence and the strategies discussed here, you gain control back from pesky robocallers and telemarketers on your phone line.

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