Over the years, scammers have not only figured out many ways to cheat but have also identified their easiest targets – older adults. Unfortunately, the combination of being unfamiliar with some technology and being too trusting makes our parents an easier target to scam. But we can help them to identify spammers!
Our parents have always watched over us. They’ve kept us protected from potential threats. In short – they’ve always had our backs. Isn’t it heartbreaking to imagine them losing their hard-earned money to vicious fraudsters? Since we can’t be with them at every step, the best thing we can do is to keep them updated. So make a smart call and tell your parents about the best ways to spot a scam call.
Identifying the types of scam calls
Alerting your parents about different scams is half the battle won. Whether it’s a lottery, bank/KYC frauds, or tax scams, make sure to update your parents about the fraudulent activities that you know about. This way, they’ll be mindful when attending to unsolicited calls. Let them also know how scammers cleverly weave stories and make suspicious situations seem believable.
Beware of ‘out of the blue’ calls – that can be a scam!
Scammers prefer making unexpected contact to catch the receiver off-guard. Then, by giving out alarming information, the scammers make the listener panic and doubt their own memory.
What you can do is tell your parents to beware of such vague calls and report them to someone they trust.
Don’t give in to pressure
Professional callers will never create a sense of panic or pressure you to make quick decisions. Your parents should be aware of this as they may trust the person on the other end of the line.
Ask your parents to look out for any pushy behaviour from the caller. For example, if they keep insisting on the importance of the situation or say you have ‘limited time’ to take action.
If the caller makes repetitive calls despite showing disinterest, consider this as a red flag and block the number immediately.
Disconnect if the caller seems “too helpful”
Not all spammers act pushy. They may choose to act friendly to have their instructions followed. Their reassuring tone can often throw your parents off guard and expose personal information.
That’s why it’s crucial for your parents to be cautious of this trick and save themselves from falling prey.
Be wary of sharing personal details
Giving out personal information on the phone is a big deal. But parents may find it challenging to identify where private information can be shared and to whom. So it’s crucial for you to let them know about the appropriate forums where details can be shared and more importantly, what details are never to be shared over a call.
Make them aware that no bank will ever call to ask for their CVVs, security passwords, or card pins. Also if they receive a lottery winning call, it is probably a scam.
Avoid answering private numbers as they can turn out to be a scam call
Most parents think from their hearts. A call from an unknown number may make a millennial sceptical, but parents may perceive it as a regular call from someone they may know.
So ensure that your parents know that scams like one-ring missed calls and calls from strange numbers are clear red flags. They must ignore and block these.
One of the first steps you can take to protect your parents from scams and fraud is to download the Truecaller app on their phones. The app intelligently identifies reported scam numbers, and also allows the user to block suspected spam numbers at once.
If your parent has fallen victim to a scam, be sure to take immediate action.