Most people are familiar with telephone fraud through the occasional local news item that highlights a warning from the police or perhaps the victim's own sad story about losing their savings.
The BeenVerified Phone Spam Complaints Monitor wanted to analyze these calls at national level to identify the most common types of scams via telephone and the associated tactics. The report analyzed more than 200,000 telephone complaints directly from customers over a period from 2016 up to and including the first half of this year.
Based on this data, the report has identified the top five telephone scams that everyone should be aware of in 2019:
1. Social Security scams – This scam shot up in 201
2. IRS / Tax Fraud – Last year's telephone scams by telephone, reports of tax fraud at IRS have fallen considerably as the social security scam rises. It is unclear whether this is a permanent trend or just a temporary change in tactics. We may see a revival of this type of scam, which again depends on impending calls from government imitators demanding immediate payment of (fake) back taxes, as we get closer to the tax season in the new year.
3. Credit Card Offers – Complaints about robocalls offering unsolicited credit card offers grew this year. Although some of these calls may come from legitimate companies, they also offer scammers coverage to attempt to obtain sensitive personal financial information.
4. Debt related calls – Debt consolidation requests remain a persistent problem. Many of these offers promise a "quick fix" for repairing credit, but are in fact practices that can damage your credit score in the long run.
5. Free Offers or Giveaways – Although most telephone conversations depend on anxiety tactics, recourse to greed can also be an effective way of becoming a victim of goals. Remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, this probably is!
Tips to avoid the best telephone scams this year:
- Understand that the Social Security Administration does not "suspend" your social security number for any reason. Every type of call or voicemail that you receive with language is a scam.
- Beware of imminent voicemails: scammers call more and more often on voicemails to guide their imitation programs. rely on an element of time pressure (now payment requirements). Government agencies do not work this way and communicate by email if there is a problem.
Justin Lavelle is communications director of BeenVerified,