Avoiding common mobile phone scams

Online scammers and criminals are always waiting for the right moment to pounce. To trap you into revealing your personal data. Into sharing something you shouldn’t. The increasing use of mobile devices paves the way for mobile phone scams, and those scammers can cost their targets more than just time. Cash can disappear all too easily. The more prominent mobile scammers are now elevating their scamming strategies by using genuine-looking local mobile phone numbers, so you begin to trust them even before they start speaking. Here, I will discuss the steps you should take to avoid common mobile phone scams. It’s essential to keep your assets protected from criminals.

Be cautious of unknown callers

If a call or text message received from an unknown number, it’s perhaps best to just ignore it and let it go to voicemail. If no message is left, it probably wasn’t essential anyway. Changing the habit of responding to an unfamiliar number can help prevent common scams. Remember, if they really need to get hold of you, they’d leave a message and give their details.

Use Authorised Apps

Whether you’re moving cash around with a mobile banking app or an online purchase, always use the authorised and official app. Never download from outside of your Google Play or iTunes store. Even when you’re using the official store, be wary of similarly-named apps that might offer familiar features. Also make sure that personal details like PINs, passwords and other important information are not stored on your phone. I’ve seen people add their PINs as phone numbers under “Mr PIN” before. Be wary

Keep tabs on phone security settings

Learn about your smartphone security settings. They are designed to protect you and can help stop problems. It may seem like an inconvenience, but adding password protection is a great way to stop regularly-used PIN numbers like “1234” or “0000” being used. You can also hide apps so that others can’t see them. Whether you have Android or iOS, take timeout to go through the settings screens.

Use strong PINs and passwords

When it comes to making your phone inaccessible for others, especially for scammers using a properly strong PIN is a start, but consider – as mentioned above – fingerprints and other ways to secure your device (pattern unlock, face unlock etc). Ensure that passwords for your apps aren’t easy to guess and aren’t based on family members or anything else you may be regularly posting about on social media.

Protect yourself with third party apps

There’s lots of apps available on the app store which offer high quality message spam filtering and call blocking features. These will keep scammers and spammers away from your phone. Just do a search for “spam call blocking” and you’ll find apps which will stop spammers in their tracks.

Keep your operating system up to date

Mobile operating systems offer regular updates which boost security for users and fix bugs too. So, always keep your operating system up to date (if you can) in order to prevent cyber-attacks and spam. You should check your device for updates regularly and be quick to install them in order to ensure the security of your phone. 

Choose email verification instead of mobile verification

Whenever you install a new mobile app, it may ask you to verify your identity either via mobile number or email. You should try to go for email verification in order to keep your mobile number safe from spammers and hackers.

Remember to reset your device

If you are about to sell your old mobile device to buy a new one, always remember to reset your device in order to make sure nothing private and personal is left on the device. Scammers can blackmail you with this easily. Also remember to remove SD card that may contain a lot of personal data and information.