At the end of every year, around this time, there are a slew of scams that will try to target you both via email and in the form of phone calls. These are the Christmas phone scams that you need to watch out for.
During the winter months scammers call pretending to be from your local utility companies. Power and heating “representatives” will call you and state that they didn’t receive your last payment and because of this they will be shutting off your power and heat. If you live somewhere cold where it starts getting dark at 4pm you know that this would be a horrible thing.
Many people will start to panic about losing power and will share their credit card or bank information with the caller. Sometimes the scammers will ask that the debt be paid with wire transfer or pre-paid gift cards. This should be an immediate red flag.
If you get a call like this, first hang up, and then call back your power company directly via the phone number that appears on their official website or on a previous bill you’ve received.
With the holiday season also begin cuffing season! Everybody would like to have a special someone in their life around the holidays. However, you need to keep your wits about you. Watch out for online love interests who haven’t met you in person yet and who are quick to profess their love. These are both red flags.
Avoid sharing personal information with people that you’ve just met via online dating. Though the person might be amazing it’s important not to share too much information with them and never send a person who you don’t know money.
How to Avoid Christmas Scams
The best way to avoid these types of scams is not to get ahead of yourself. The holidays can be stressful, so don’t stress yourself out even more unnecessarily. Use a caller ID service to identify scams and find information about new people you meet.
Guard your personal information and only share it with the people you know and trust.
Online dating is now more popular than ever. Millions of single people are now using websites and dating apps to meet “the one”. These are the things that you should keep in mind if you’re looking to try online dating.
To start off you should decide what you’re willing to pay and what you’re looking for. There are all different types of sites and apps and it’s important to pick the one that best serves your needs. Sites like eHarmony and Match.com are paid and have compatibility tests that you take when signing up.
If you’re looking for something that requires a little less commitment dating apps like Tinder and Bumble are great. They are free to use and you’ll be able to meet plenty of singles in your area. There won’t be any compatibility tests included with these apps though! You’ll have to go solely off of a few pictures and a short bio.
Creating Your Profile
Setting up your online dating profile can sometimes be a challenge. In our experience it’s always good to include a few photos of yourself that you like and a short bio. Don’t give away too much information about yourself. It’s important to maintain your privacy and not reveal too much personal information when first meeting a stranger online.
Beware Of Romance Scams And Other Crimes
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. It’s full of scammers and worse. It’s important that you be careful when using online dating and dating apps. Try to avoid the following scenarios:
- A match starts professing his love for you very quickly without ever meeting you. This is usually followed by a plea for money.
- A match insists on picking you up at your house for the first date or refuses to meet in public. It’s a good idea to find your own transportation for the first date and meet in a public place. The person you’re talking with might seem normal online or via text, but they could be a total creep in real life.
How To Protect Yourself
The best way to protect yourself when using online dating is by keeping the following things in mind:
- Keep personal information guarded. Don’t let a new date know exactly where you work or live. You may even want to keep your phone number private. You can use a second phone number app to protect your identity.
- Meet in public places and let someone know who you’re going to meet up with and where you’ll be.
- Don’t be afraid to do some digging on social media. We’re not saying that you have to run a background check on a person, but don’t feel ashamed to search them on Facebook or Instagram. You can look up their phone number using a white pages reverse lookup app to find out their full name.
By following some of these tips you’ll be able to get the most out of online dating! Enjoy!
Today more than ever people are victimized by phone scams. Whether it be the grandparents scam, lottery scams, or the infamous IRS scam, you need to be careful every time you pick up an unknown call. The best way to protect yourself is to install one of the many caller ID apps that exist to your phone.
What Are The Most Common Phone Scams?
There are so many variations of phone scams. You need to be extremely careful whenever you answer a call from a number that’s unfamiliar.
These are some of the most common types of phone scams:
- Payday loan and federal grant scams
- Warrant scams
- IRS scams
- Free vacation and lottery winner scams
Know The Red Flags
Phone scams can have a lot of variations, but they all have a few things in common. Watch out for these things when answering a call:
- The caller asks for personal information that seems unnecessary. For example, if the caller claims to be calling from your credit card company they should already have all of your information. They shouldn’t need you to verify any personal information such as your card number, Social Security number, or personal address.
- The caller claims you’ve won something for free, but you don’t remember signing up for it. This is very common. If you don’t remember signing up for something, then don’t listen to the caller.
- The caller asks for payment of a fine via wire transfer or prepaid debit or gift card. This is the biggest red flag of all! If someone threatens you and demands that you pay them this way, hang up and block the number. Immediately report it to the proper authorities.
Protect Yourself With A Caller ID App
In order to protect yourself from phone scams, be sure to download a caller ID app on your phone.
An app like this will help you identify the unwanted calls and block them!
Nothing is more annoying than telemarketers calling at all hours. A lot of these calls are often not even live humans, but recordings. If you’re receiving pre-recorded, automated calls on your cell phone these are illegal! We’ll go over the different ways that you can cut down on the amount of nuisance calls you receive, including using a reverse phone number lookup app to filter your calls.
Make Sure Your Number Is On The Official Do Not Call Registry
Though it isn’t the perfect answer to ending robocalls making sure your phone number is in the National Do Not Call Registry is a great start. You can have both your cell phone number and landline number (if you still have one) in the registry.
Once your phone number has been registered telemarketers are not allowed to call you unless you’ve already explicitly agreed to let them call you. Some calls like survey, political, and fundraising are still allowed even if your number is in the registry.
Make sure you don’t fall for any fake offers for Do Not Call Registry’s. There is only one official Do Not Call Registry in the U.S. and it’s run by the FTC.
Don’t Press Numbers When Answering Automated Calls
If you answer a call and a recording starts to play, just hang up. Don’t press any numbers to be removed from the calling list. This is often a ploy to get people to show that the number is active. Scammers will then take the active phone numbers and continue to call them. That’s why it’s best to avoid answering calls from numbers you don’t know and letting them go to voicemail.
Use A Reverse Phone Number Lookup App To Filter Calls
You should download a reverse phone number lookup app in order to filter the calls that you receive. Eventually the less you answer junk phone calls the less you’ll receive them. Many apps have real time spam info on phone numbers and some even have automatic spam call blocking protection that you can enable.