Expert warns to hang up the call if you hear these 4 key phrases during an unknown call


Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, deceiving millions of people yearly through clever tactics and persuasive language. One crucial way you can defend yourself from falling victim to these schemes is by learning to recognise the telltale phrases used by scammers to lure unsuspecting individuals into their traps.

Trevor Cooke, the online privacy expert at EarthWeb, shares the key phrases that should raise immediate red flags.

The Key Phrases To Look Out For

Here are some key phrases used by scammers, along with guidance from Trevor on how to recognize the associated scam tactics and how to combat them:

"You've won a prize, but you need to pay a fee to claim it."

Scammers often use promises of prizes or rewards to entice victims into paying upfront fees or providing personal information. For example, they may say, "You've won a free vacation, but you need to pay a small processing fee to claim it." Trevor says, ‘Remember, legitimate lotteries or contests do not require winners to pay fees to claim their prizes. If you receive such a message, hang up immediately and block the number to prevent further contact.’

"You must act now or you'll miss out"

Scammers use urgency to pressure victims into making impulsive decisions without thinking things through. They may say something like, "This is a limited-time offer, and you must act now or you'll miss out!" Be cautious of any unsolicited communication that demands immediate action or threatens consequences for delay. Take your time to verify the offer’s legitimacy or request before taking action.

"We need your personal information to verify your account."

Phishing scams often involve requests for personal or financial information under the guise of account verification or security checks. Trevor says, ‘Legitimate organizations will never ask you to provide sensitive information such as passwords, Social Security numbers, or banking details via unsolicited calls or messages.’ If you receive such a request, do not provide any information and report the incident to the appropriate authorities.

"You owe money, and failure to pay will result in legal action."

Scammers may pose as debt collectors or law enforcement officers, using threats of legal action or arrest to intimidate victims into paying nonexistent debts. Remember, legitimate debt collectors will provide documentation and allow you to verify the debt before making any payments. If you suspect a scam, hang up and report the incident to the authorities.

Trevor says, ‘By staying informed and recognizing these common scam signals, individuals can protect themselves from falling victim to fraudsters. Remember to trust your instincts and never hesitate to hang up or block suspicious calls or messages. Together, we can combat scams and safeguard our personal and financial information from harm.’

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