8 Handy Tips to Avoid Mobile Phone Scams Like a Pro

8 Handy Tips to Avoid Mobile Phone Scams Like a Pro

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Tips to Avoid Mobile Phone Scams mobile phone frauds Mobile text scams missed call scams

With the widespread availability of affordable handsets and network connectivity, smartphones are now no longer the affluent man’s prerogative. Mobile phone scams are flourishing and are often responsible for cheating the innocent of their money, dignity and sometimes, identity. Here is a quick read on tips to avoid mobile phone scams such as mobile text scams, missed call scams and much more.

In one of our previous blogs, we had shed light on some of the common mobile phone scams. Make sure you take a serious note of these tips to avoid mobile phone scams.

Tips to Avoid Mobile Phone Scams

The era of the smartphone has taken over the human civilization like an epidemic. Yes, an epidemic because it’s causing more harm than good. The following tips to avoid mobile phone scams shall help in limiting your chances of falling prey to the rampant mobile phone frauds.

1. Avoid Mobile Text Scams

Avoid falling for mobile text scams by being careful of the SMSs that you respond to. You may at times receive a message asking you to respond to some unknown numbers. NEVER respond to any number that you are not familiar with.

“20 billion fraudulent text messages are sent out each day as ‘smishing’ scams.”

Smishing scams involve sending text messages with the intention of fooling users into divulging their confidential information.

Instead, contact your network provider or bank’s customer support team (depending on the source of the text). Enquire them about the authenticity of the message communicated to you along with the numbers you are provided with.

2. Avoid Missed Call Scams

DO NOT return missed calls from an unknown or a strange looking number. Generally, numbers bearing country codes +473, +809, +284, or +876 are associated with such missed call mobile phone frauds.

So, completely avoid calls having another country’s code where you do not recall having any kith or kin!

PRO TIP: Download the True Caller app on your mobile. It is helpful in identifying unsaved numbers. Mostly, numbers that associated with missed call scams are already marked as ‘spam’.

3. Avoid Mobile Phone Insurance Scams

Got a call from an insurance company after purchasing your new phone? Beware! This could be a phone insurance scam! NEVER disclose your financial information to anyone over the phone, no matter how convincing they may sound!

Demand proper credentials from the caller, including a phone number to call back. Do not entertain any such call from an insurance company, especially if you don’t recall initiating it!

4. Avoid Mobile Ransomware

Yes, you read that right! Don’t be under the impression that ransomware does not affect mobile phones! In mobile-based ransomware attacks too, the conman holds the phone ransom till the victims pay a hefty amount

To protect your phone from ransomware, be cognizant of every download done on your phone. When downloading apps, make sure you download them ONLY from the phone’s branded application store.

AVOID downloading apps that evade the phone’s trustworthy app store.

PRO TIP: Avoid dealing with financial and confidential data when connected to a public Wi-Fi or hotspot. Such systems have limited security to facilitate public access and hence are more vulnerable to hacking.

5. Safeguard Your Phone From Getting Stolen

Keeping your smartphone safe is the first step to avoid mobile phone scams. We do NOT support an excessive addiction to your phone, but make sure you know where you keep it.

Use a secure passcode on your phone so that it makes it difficult for a thief to access your personal information in case it is stolen.

PRO TIP: Install apps that can help you track your mobile if it is lost or stolen. Some mobiles come pre-installed with such apps. These apps also enable remote wiping of the entire phone’s data (when online) in case it is stolen/lost.

6. Implement Maximum Security

Be SMART about using your smartphone. Use all security features generously.

Make sure you properly configure your phone’s security and location settings. Use both the numeric PIN and password protection features to lock your phone. In newer smartphones, the additional fingerprint and face scanning feature to unlock a smartphone are an added bonus. These help in reinforcing the data security of a smartphone when stolen or lost.

7. Take Permissions Asked By Apps Seriously

Whenever we download an app, it mostly asks us for our permission to access the phone’s gallery and contacts. Most of us accept these permissions and tick the boxes saying ‘Yes’ in the blink of an eye!

Remember, this could make you an easier victim of mobile phone scams!

Certain malicious applications require your consent to access a never-ending list of information in your phone. Be extra cautious when an app demands access to personal information stored on the device. A request for access extending to multiple files or systems on your phone should ring the warning bell.

8. Treat Your Smartphone at Par with Your Laptop/Desktop

Smartphones have completely taken over personal computers, at work or at home. Their handy size, as well as power-packed features, make it easier for users to use smartphones for work as well as entertainment!

Whereas one tends to load laptops and personal computers with anti-virus software and firewalls, how many install the same on their phones? This differential treatment can cost you dearly.

Smartphones are as vulnerable to cyber attacks as personal computers. So be cautious of what sites your visit when browsing the internet via your phone. Also, install requisite malware protection apps on your phone.

Incognito Forensic Foundation – For Digital Forensics Investigation & Consultation

Incognito Forensic Foundation (IFF Lab) is a cyber and digital forensics lab in Bangalore and Chennai. It provides investigation and digital forensics services to support individuals and Law Enforcement Agencies in curbing mobile phone scams. IFF Lab houses the latest digital forensics tools and has the backing of an exemplary resource pool of experts.

Contact IFF Lab for Investigation of Mobile Phone Scams.