Tips for Detecting Phone Scams

It happens every year: people receive phone calls asking for money or personal information, but it's all a scam.

Sometimes calls can seem convincing which often leads people to being scammed. So what should you do if you get such a call?

News 13's Tyler Waggenspack joins us live in studio with some tips for detecting phone scams.

Tyler, what did you learn?

Brady, writing down the number and reporting it to police is one step for decreasing chances of being scammed.

The phone rings, you answer, and it sounds suspicious. It's possibly a scam. According to a report, thousands of people lose money every year from becoming scam victims. It even happens in our own backyard.

"We do receive quite a few of them. Unfortunately we have had some people that have fallen for the scam and basically preyed upon by," said David Hulshizer from the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office.

That's because calls seem convincing since scammers pose as professionals. Local authorities say if it's
a number you don't recognize, let it ring.

"Simply not answering a phone if it's a phone number you're not aware of or you don't know and seeing if they do leave a voicemail."

But sheriff’s deputies say there are other ways for detecting a scam.

"Some of the indications when you first pick up the phone, there's a pause. Most personal phone calls or legitimate phone calls from businesses, don't have a lengthy pause."

"Another one could be that the person on the other end has a very thick accent from another country."

Sometimes, the calls can't be traced back to the source.

"A lot of times it isn't traceable and the reason being is you use what's called “Caller I.D. Spoofing” which means they can utilize a phone number that comes back to a real business, but they temporarily grab that phone number and use it to make the phone call."

But the best advice would be...

"Basically, hanging up the phone. That's the best way to handle these scams."

Good advice there: hang up. Natrona County sheriff's Deputies also say scammers will try to ask for money transfers through green dot cards or prepaid debit/credit cards.

Officials also say to report any suspicious activity if you get such calls. For other tips about detecting phone scams we've provided a link on our website.

FTC Consumer Information: