Almost everybody knows those unsolicited phone calls, where you are targeted by scrupulous telemarketers. Once they get their “foot into your phone” so to speak, they are only hard to get rid of again. Hanging up the phone might be your only choice at times. More often than not, scam callers target older people or teenager attempting to get their hands on people’s income or savings. In this article, I will explain to you what a scam call is, how yourecognize the call for what it is and how you can successfully protect yourself from their mind games.
Fraud vs scam
Sometimes there is no differentiation between a fraud and a scam. However, legally there is a difference. Fraud is when you receive a call where the caller deliberately deceives the receiver to gain wealth for himself of a third party. For example, the caller seeks to get access to the receiver’s bank account.
A scam, on the other hand, is where the caller tries to gain money using unfair methods. For example, the caller tries to sell you a hugely overpriced loan, insurance, etc.
A not less annoying but equally illegal call, are the so-called advertising calls. Every unsolicited phone call, where someone tries to sell you something or asks you to donate to a certain organisation can be reported and published on a website like this.
Recognizing scam calls as what they are and what you can do about it
As mentioned above, scammers target a certain group of people while advertising callers also known as a telemarketer, might buy your phone number from a third party. Telemarketers are paid according to how many sales they can achieve within a certain time. Therefore, it is not surprising, that they are pretty persistent when it comes to getting their point across. However, stay alert and give them nothing. If you do not recognise the number, let the call go to yourvoicemail or answering machine. Usually, they will not leave a message. In this case, there is no need to call back. The same is true if the phone call comes up as an unknown number. Experts, however, warn, not to rely on the caller ID entirely, because the displayed number or name could be fake.
If you for some reason you get involved in a conversation with any of the callers mentioned above, staying alert is your best option, apart from just hanging up. Those advertising callers might try to pressure you. For example, they might tell you, that youwere chosen for a certain gift, which “unfortunately” will expire in a few hours. That is your cue to hang up. The same is true if the caller pretends to be your bank manager, who needs your password. Hang up!
Why is it important to report scam calls?
Scams belong to the field of organized crime. Reporting those calls is important because this will help to keep the most vulnerable people, the young and elderly, safe. If you report them, you become part of the solution, to keep society protected from being robbed of their savings by ruthless scammers.
All you need to do is calling the consumer hotline in your country and report the caller’s number.
Your best option, not to be harassed by relentless telemarketers is to list your phone number on your country's Do Not Call Registry.