Phone Impersonation Scams - Texts and Calls to look out for
Cell phone impersonation scams are becoming increasingly common, and they can have serious consequences for individuals and businesses alike. These scams involve someone calling or texting you while pretending to be someone else, typically a coworker or a company executive, and asking for money or sensitive information.
The goal of these bad actors is to gain access to your personal information or convince you to give them money, and they can be very convincing. They may use techniques like social engineering, where they use information they have gathered about you or your company to make their story seem more legitimate.
So, how can you identify a cell phone impersonation scam? Here are some common red flags to look out for:
- The caller or texter asks for money or sensitive information. This is a huge warning sign that something isn't right. Legitimate coworkers or executives will not ask for these things over the phone or via text message.
- The message is urgent or uses fear tactics. Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly, so they may use phrases like "this is an emergency" or "we need this done ASAP."
- The phone number is unfamiliar or doesn't match the supposed sender. Be sure to check the phone number of the person who is contacting you. If it doesn't match the phone number you have on file for that person, this is a major red flag.
- The message contains spelling or grammatical errors. Legitimate coworkers or executives will typically take care to write professional and error-free messages, so any mistakes could indicate that the message is a scam.
If you do receive a suspicious message, what should you do? Here are some steps you can take:
- Verify the request with the supposed sender. If you receive a message asking for money or sensitive information, take the time to call or message the supposed sender through known methods to verify that the request is legitimate.
- Don't share sensitive information. If you receive a message asking for your personal or company information, do not share it. Instead, verify the request with the supposed sender or contact your IT department for further guidance.
- Report the incident to your IT department. If you believe you have received a cell phone impersonation scam message, be sure to report it to your IT department right away. They can help you determine if the message is legitimate and take steps to prevent further incidents.
In conclusion, cell phone impersonation scams can be very convincing, but by staying alert and following these tips, you can protect yourself and your company from falling victim to these types of scams. Stay safe, and always verify suspicious messages before sending money or giving out company information!