Unfortunately, phone scams are a common problem, and it can be difficult to recognise a scam call with scammers becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approach.
Recognising a scam call
- Unexpected contact from someone claiming to be from a trusted organisation, such as as your telecommunications provider, bank, power company or even a charity.
- Asking you to call back a number that you don’t recognise.
- The call may come from a foreign or blocked number, but scammers can also disguise the number to look like it’s local by using a method called number spoofing.
- Requests for personal information or money and pressure to make a quick decision or face negative consequences.
- Telling you that there is a problem with your computer and that they can help you fix it or telling you something that’s too good to be true such as winning a competition that you don’t remember entering.
What to do if you have received a scam call
If you have received an out of the blue call that seems suspicious, the best thing to do is hang up and not engage with the suspected scammer.
- If they call or leave a voicemail and mention you need to call them back on a specific number, please be vigilant. Avoid calling back numbers you don’t recognise as often you will be charged heavily for these calls.
- Check whether the call is legitimate by calling the company directly on their number listed on their website.
- Ignore instructions and avoid sharing any personal information with the caller.
- If you think you have shared credit card or bank details, call your bank immediately.
- If you have shared a password, change it immediately along with any other accounts that use the same password or login information.
- If you think the scammer may have accessed your computer, it can be worthwhile scanning your computer for any viruses.
For more information about phone scams, please visit https://www.tcf.org.nz/consumers/complaints/phone-scammers/