Everyone occasionally receives spam and scam calls, but they are not the same. How can you distinguish between a scam and plain spam?
Here at CPR Call Blocker, we make protecting you from telemarketers and spam calls our mission because, to many people, scams and spam are synonymous with "trouble." To help with this, we want to ensure you know some common spam and scam caller tactics.
What, for example, are spam numbers? What distinguishes spam from scam phone numbers? What should you do if a spam risk call rings? How can you stop these nefarious characters from contacting you or your clients?
We've discovered that many people mistake spam calls for scam calls. So let's take a second to correct the record.
What is a Spam Call?
Simply put, a type of unwanted call known as spam happens when a person or business calls multiple people simultaneously. Most people have experienced the agony of having their day interrupted by dozens of obnoxious and unwanted spam calls.
Spam calls are similar to spam emails because they are unwelcome communication. Most of the time, unsolicited spam calls and texts are distributed in large quantities without any prior request.
As an illustration, consider telemarketers, frequently live agents attempting to sell legitimate (albeit unsolicited) services. Robocalls, which deliver a prerecorded voice message with the same aim of making a sale, are another type of spam call. But robocalls without prior consent are prohibited, just like email spam.
Here are some examples of spam calls:
Telemarketers call us with a specific objective, such as persuading us to make a purchase or asking for a donation. Selling goods or services over the phone is known as telemarketing. Businesses occasionally refer to it as "telesales" or "inside sales."
The same goes for your favorite yoga studio calling to offer you a discount if you sign up for a new class or the local office supply store where you shop calling to ask if you'd like to order another case of paper. The offices of a company with fewer than 10 employees or a "call bank," a company specializing in telemarketing, may be used by telemarketers to place their calls.
During an election or other period, you may receive calls relating to the election, including calls providing information, polling calls, research calls, and calls from parties seeking campaign donations.
The person who calls you should formally introduce themselves and state the full name of the charity they speak on behalf of. If the caller is not an employee of the charity, they might also disclose their city and state of residence.
An automated phone call is referred to as a robocall when it is placed by a computer program known as an autodialer or predictive dialer. The programming plays a prerecorded message after a connection has been made. Robocalls frequently provide appointment reminders, PSAs, and crisis communication updates.
5. Debt Collector
A collection call is a phone call made to get someone to pay a debt or encourage them to do so.
What are Scam Calls?
Unwanted calls with malicious intentions, such as those made by a person or business, are known as "scam calls." There are many different scams, but the objective of these calls is typically to deceive a person into sending money or sensitive information.
Scam calls are a type of fraud intended to steal your money or your personal information. Like email scams, phone scams frequently offer a discount on goods or something free (such as a free prize or winning a contest).
Others demand payment for deeds the victims haven't committed or services they haven't requested, such as jury duty missed or installments on an unpaid debt like back taxes or utility bills. Calls and text messages that contain scams should be immediately blocked and deleted.
How can you distinguish between legitimate and scam numbers if a scam gets past detection and the number gets through?
When dealing with spoiled milk, you should check the expiration date, see if the smell has changed to rotten, and take a small taste test if you're feeling particularly daring. While scam phone numbers aren't like spoiled milk, you can use the same techniques to spot a scam phone number by asking yourself certain questions or performing specific tests.
When a caller answers and the phone number appears strange, it is more likely that the call is a scam.
- The caller is unable to communicate.
- The greeting is delayed or generic.
- The caller claims a problem with an unidentified bank or another account.
- The conversation turns heated.
- You are required to provide personal or business information to identify yourself.
- The caller warns of extreme circumstances.
- You are being threatened.
- To take advantage of a deal, you must move quickly.
Because of how quickly they are made and received, scam calls are more difficult to detect. Scammers also employ algorithms to disguise that their calls come from across the country but appear from a local number.
With billions of scams and robocalls every year, there are enough victims of scammers' tricks to cover the cost of their annoying calls.
Scams come in a variety of forms, so be on the lookout for these:
1. Bank Phone Scams
The number of impersonation scams is rising. According to the industry group UK Finance, more than 30,000 cases totaling £129 million in losses were reported in the first half of 2021.
2. Boiler Room Phone Scams
These phone scams promise investors a significant return, causing them to lose a lot of money. You get an unexpected call from someone offering you the chance to make a lot of money investing. They'll probably tell you that you must act quickly and send the funds immediately.
3. Home-Buying Scam Calls
There are many home-buying phone scams, but the most prevalent one involves hackers breaking into an email chain between a lawyer and their client.
4. Pension Scams
More than £78 million was lost by victims of investment and pension fraud in 2020. Con artists pose as legitimate investment firms to steal people's money. Pension fraud has significantly increased since the implementation of pension freedoms in 2015, which gave anyone over 55 access to their retirement funds.
5. Fake Charity Calls
Charity fraud is a common problem after tragedies or natural disasters. Criminals rely on others' willingness to assist them. Don't send money to requests for donations that aren't authorized to stop funding criminal activity. Instead, use websites like Charity Navigator and Guidestar to research to find a reliable charity.
6. Lottery Scams
Don't believe it if you get a call saying you were selected at random to win a foreign lottery. You can tell that these calls are fake because they frequently assert that you must pay taxes or other fees to the government to receive your winnings.
7. Family Members in Peril
Senior citizens are frequently the target of these phishing calls. A phone call alerting Granny to their danger is received. Perhaps they are in jail and require bail money, or maybe their car broke down.
8. Health and Covid Phone Scams
You should be aware of some health frauds as well. Vaccine passports are available for free through the NHS app. You can access your passport if you have received both vaccination doses. But by selling fake vaccination passports, criminals are taking advantage of unsuspecting victims.
9. Technical Support Phone Scams
In this scam, the caller typically claims to be from a reputable organization, such as Microsoft or Apple, and that they have discovered a mistake on the victim's computer. All of these calls are fake. Microsoft and other tech firms don't make cold calls to potential customers to offer technical support.
10. Energy Price Cap Scam Calls
Thieves are preying on households affected by the most recent increase in the energy price cap by disguising themselves as energy companies. The claim states that additional grants—including ones worth more than the £400 the government is willing to offer—and refunds are available.
There is a difference between spam calls and scam calls. Similar to spam emails, spam calls are an unwanted form of communication. They are harmless but can be so annoying. On the other hand, scam calls aim to steal your money or personal information.
Phone scams are a common tactic criminals use to rob people of their money. Learn about the most common phone scams and how to stay safe. Don't share sensitive information. Never give out personal or financial information over the phone, including your bank account information or PIN, even if the caller claims to be from your bank.
A call blocker device is strongly recommended to block phone scams. Our call blockers are meant to keep you and your family safe from unwanted phone calls and give you peace of mind at home. Browse our products, or get in touch with us so we can help you.