A beginner’s guide to fending off hackers and scammers: Part 4 – Dealing with suspicious phone calls

In Information Security ByTeam Acumin / 22nd December 2015

Hackers and scammers may be getting ever more sophisticated in their attempts to steal our data and defraud us, but not all of their scams are carried out over the internet – many scammers, once they have hacked your details, will attempt to call you in order to solicit further information and get you to part with your hard earned money.

Avoiding phone scams

Phone calls are one of the hacker’s favourite tools for removing money from your bank account because they can use the telephone to give themselves an air of legitimacy. They do this by first obtaining your data and then using that data to pass themselves off as an official source, such as a bank or credit card company, in order to get hold of your card details and siphon off your money.

To avoid being taken to the cleaners by these hackers and scammers, you will need to keep your wits about you when answering your telephone. If someone calls you claiming they are from the bank, for example, even if they know your name, address and other details, you should be wary of them. This is especially true if they ask you to hand over any bank details.

The best thing to do, instead of giving them the information they seek, is to tell them that you will call them back and hang up.

Be careful when calling back

When you do call back the company you think was trying to contact you, it is important that you not only call the company’s official phone number, but also that you ensure that the scammers are not still on the line – this is a common trick that scammers use, which enables them to poses as the company and get your details, even if you think you have dialled their official number.