In 2019, Australians lost over $634 million due to scams. And as if that isn't devastating enough, the number of scams being recorded for this year is continuously increasing because people are trying to take advantage of our vulnerability caused by the pandemic.
Today, one of the most popular scams is the missed phone call scam. This fraud starts with a phone call from a scammer that stops after the first ring aka a missed call. What a normal person will do during instances like this is they would feel the need to return the call; which is exactly what the scammer wants to happen.
What happens then?
Usually, those who are doing this particular scam use international numbers with three-digit codes so they can trick you into thinking that the call was made within Australia. If you give in, you get the risk of getting connected to a number outside the country which could result in unwanted charges in your phone bill including the use of premium services, international calling, and/or toll-calling - that's when the scammers earn.
Here’s what you can do to avoid it.
● Never answer and/or return calls from unknown numbers.
● Check the area code of the caller.
● Ask your phone company to block outgoing international calls if you’re not planning to make calls overseas.
● If you suspect a scam, immediately drop the call. ● Use a call blocker to instantly prevent scam calls from coming. Here’s a list of the best call blockers in the market right now.
Where do I report it?
If you suspect that something like this is happening to you, the first thing to do is call your telephone company and try to resolve things. If it doesn’t work, you can always report the scam to the ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) by completing a scam web form.
However, if you're already getting threats or you already have a property stolen, it's best to contact your local police immediately. In addition to that, if your bank details have been compromised already, you should let your bank or financial institution know about what's happening.