The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued warnings to smartphone users about a new set of phone scams that you should be aware of to protect yourself and your personal information.
These scams tend to take the form of phone calls claiming to be from “Apple” or “Amazon,” and concerning your “account.” Whenever you get such a call, it’s almost certainly a scam.
Here’s an overview from our Phoenix, AZ cybersecurity experts of what you should know.
About the scams
FTC representatives say scammers frequently use Apple or Amazon for these robocalls, because they are brands that have broad appeal and millions of Americans using accounts with their services. The point of the calls is typically to try to get unwitting victims to hand over personal information like credit card numbers.
In one version of such a call, you get a recorded message saying the caller is from Amazon, and they are informing you of a problem with your account, such as a lost package, a suspicious purchase or an order that, for whatever reason, the company cannot fulfill. You might be asked to press a number or stay on the line to speak with a customer support representative.
Any version of these robocalls will attempt to convince victims to act quickly to get their account secured. The real goal, though, is to scare people into giving away their personal information.
FTC representatives say the best thing to do if you receive one of these robocalls is simply hang up and mark the call as spam. If you do have any reason to suspect something is wrong with any one of your accounts, you should always visit the company’s official website and contact customer support directly through their official channels.
It’s also important to note that these scams are especially common around and just after the holiday season, when financial stress levels are already high and when people are likely to be making purchases with companies like Amazon or Apple.
As always, it’s also important to be on the lookout for other types of common scams, including fake emails or advertisements. Anytime you notice a suspicious ad or email that claims to offer an unrealistic discount or coupon, you should avoid clicking through, as this could either be a way for scammers to collect your personal information or to distribute malware to your devices. While spam filters in email will catch a lot of these types of messages, they’re not a perfect solution, so it’s important to be smart about what you click and what you simply delete.
The good news is that there are ways for you to beef up your security, no matter what kind of device you’re using and what kind of scam you want to guard against. For more information about steps to take to increase your network and phone security, we encourage you to contact the team at GeekForce.biz. Our cybersecurity specialists in Phoenix, AZ can answer your questions—we look forward to working with you and protecting your devices!