How To Avoid A Phone Scam
If you ever find yourself buying something over the phone, or giving out personal information of any kind, you'll need to know how to avoid a phone scam. Giving away personal information can lead to you being the victim of a phone scam. There are many types of phone scams out there, and if you are victimized it could hurt you financially. There are plenty of legitimate businesses that do business over the phone, but it pays to be careful.
- Never participate in unsolicited phone calls. The best way to avoid a phone scam is to hang up when someone calls you wanting personal information, or asking you to buy something or donate to a charity. If you remember to always be the instigator of such interactions, you should be in pretty good shape.
- Be suspicious. Sometimes you may find yourself interested in a phone-based opportunity that seems legitimate. Instead of believing everything you hear, take everything that is said with a grain of salt. Pay attention to what the person on the other end of the line is trying to get out of the transaction. No one works for free. If you want to avoid a phone scam, avoid sweet talk and have the person cut to the chase.
- Maintain your rationality. Beware of anyone charging much less or much more money than you would pay for the product or service elsewhere. Never fall for statements such as "You need to make up your mind right now!" And never commit to paying money without doing research and making comparisons first. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Demand proof. Often, when someone is performing a phone scam, he will balk when asked to provide solid proof of claims in paper or email format. Don't ever fork over your hard-earned cash without having the details of the transaction in writing. Promises made over the phone, in general, cannot be proven or used in a lawsuit.
- Be careful who you trust. One of the worst things about scams is that people can get involved in perpetuating them without even knowing they're scams. Even if the person who calls you is an acquaintance, neighbor or friend, don't automatically believe the person has fully researched the products he is pushing or the record of the company he is working for.
If you think that you've been the victim of a scam, contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB website provides a place to file complaints about scams that may have affected you.