With the increase in new Privacy Laws and telephone scams, financial and personal information security should be paramount when answering a telephone call as well as online.
Would you give a stranger your house keys or your wallet?
No, because you don’t know them. This same philosophy should be applied to telephone and online activities. You do not know who you are talking.
Cyber-Criminals gain easy access phoning people pretending to be police or government agencies. This is the same as an online phishing scheme, but these criminals are accessing confidential information over the phone. Once these individuals have your personal information, they are able to take control of computers and mobile devices stealing additional personal data.
Don’t sign in to your computer for a caller.
NEVER give an unsolicited caller access to your computer. If you receive an unexpected phone call about your computer system’s security status or performance, and the caller requests remote access to your computer, hang up – even if the caller claims to represent IT or a known entity.
Beware the “YES” caller.
Recently, a new scam has been going around where the caller will ask if you can hear them correctly or clearly, the attempt is to make you say “yes”. Your conversation is recorded and then this affirmation is used to sign you up for services “they claim you agreed to”. Be cautious about what you say on the telephone. Better yet record conversations if able.
Stop and think – is this call genuine?
Please remember that Caller ID can be spoofed! That number that appears on your Caller ID can be faked very easily. Do not trust Caller ID.
Cyber-Criminals and Fraudsters can sound convincing and professional. They may even already have some personal information, credit card information or other data to try and make their conversation sound even more convincing. Don’t fall for it!
Is the caller putting pressure on you?
Fraudsters want to create a sense of urgency to force you to make quick decisions. The scammer might also ask you to “keep it quiet” and not tell anyone about the call. Don’t trust anyone trying to silence you or hurry you up. Ask yourself: “Is this a phone scam?” If you think so, just hang up.
A genuine caller won’t be offended if you say, “I’ll call back later.”
NEVER give out company or personal information. Do not give out names, addresses, telephone numbers or any financial information details over the phone. Not only is this bad telephone practice, you can also be breaking the law. Many countries including Canada, USA, and the EU now prohibit the exchange of information without consent from the individual in question. (GDPR)
If such information is requested you should ask for the persons full name (first and last) and company they work. You will return their call. Do Not use a number provided by the caller.