Dear Citizen — unless you’ve been living off the grid, you’ve heard this phrase. The people behind it want you to believe they can cut off your social security benefits…or send you to jail…or some equally preposterous claim. The problem is, this scam is a big deal in 2019 and people are falling for it.
Tip 1: Save your sanity—press End Call, not 1
The sad truth is robocall scams work. The bad guys can spoof phone numbers almost at will. What this means is the number displayed by Caller ID is worth zip. The good news is this scam uses a recording to move you to the next step, i.e., talking to a real person.
The scam begins with the opening line of this post—Dear Citizen. After that, there will be a warning, and after that, the opportunity to make your local scammer happy by pressing 1. Don’t do it. Pressing 1 will do exactly the opposite and put you into scam-victim hell.
Tip 2: Watch for the tentacles
Many people wonder why they can’t just block the number and be done with this scam forever. Here’s the reality check—these calls are big business. Think of this scam as something like an octopus. but with a lot more tentacles. Each tentacle is trying to reach you and pull you in. Cutting off one doesn’t stop the others.
Stopping scams like this will require better technology from the phone companies, but until they provide those solutions, hanging up is your best bet. Blocking the number that was used will prevent more calls from that particular number, but won’t stop calls from other numbers.
Tip 3: Watch your step—outsmarting scammers is a slippery slope
I’ve seen plenty of comments all over the Internet by people who said they strung the scammer along, threatened to report him to the police, said they were with law enforcement, etc. Sure, that works most of the time, but is the thrill of beating these guys at their own game worth the risk?
Do you have a solution that’s worked well with robocall scams? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear it.