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Beware, scammers working the phones
Robo calls are infuriating and you do need to take some steps to keep safe from scammers, who had a banner year in 2020.
So filter your calls by entering all your trusted contacts into your smartphone. Only pick up the phone when their names show up on caller ID. Ignore the other calls. If it’s important, they can leave a message.
Verizon makes me aware when a call appears to be spam.
A high school classmate sent me an email warning about one scam where she picked up a call from a area code she was familiar with, thinking it might be important.
The man on the other end, asked, “Can you hear me?”
Remembering what someone had told her about scammers sometimes using a “yes” answer for other purposes, she didn’t answer back.
“I just need a yes or no,” the scammer responded.
She just hung up.
That’s exactly what you should do if you get a call from scammers claiming to be with the Social Security Administration, saying your Social Security number has been suspended and asking you to call an 800 number.
If you do call that 800 number, a scammer will ask for a bank account number, cash, a retail gift card, a prepaid debit card or a wire transfer to correct the problem.
Remember, Social Security does not make a practice of making unsolicited calls about your account. They will return your calls with questions,
You can also set up a myAccount with Social Security, using this link: https:www.ssa.gov/myaccount/. Enter a unique username and password for added protection.
Here are a few other ways to stop fraud.
Prepaid gift cards have become one of the fastest-growing requested forms of payments from scammers. So only buy them for family and friends.
Be sure to mark as spam any suspicious or unwanted emails that show up in your inbox, so similar messages will automatically be routed to the trash.
Check your credit report as all three major credit reporting agencies—Equifax, Esperian and TransUnion—are offering free weekly reports through April. This helps determine if someone is using credit in your name,
When making purchases, consider a dual authorization method where the provider sends a unique code by email or text.
To gain more control of your privacy on Facebook, click the downward button in the upper right corner. Then click on Settings & Privacy and Privacy Checkup. This easy-to-use wizard will guide you through settings that will allow only your friends to see it, locking scammers out.
Scammers will continue to rush their victims. So don’t let them. As anti-fraud experts say. “Never let a stranger force you into a fast decision. Pause, calm yourself and think clearly and critically. Chances are you’ll quickly see the situation for what it really is.”