Scam callers prey on the uninformed, even today
Here's a classic criminal chestnut: the phone rings. It's an operator from the government, informing you that you've been selected to receive benefits, if you could just provide some personal information. Sound fishy? It should.
Sadly, phishing through the phone is nothing new, and it's still with us. You would think this sort of thing would have gone out of style with rotary dials and cassette tapes, but scam callers are still out there looking to gut you for your personal info. Recently, the Trojan Horse of choice has been the Affordable Care Act, as fake solicitors have been calling homes and asking if they could send health insurance cards to qualify for the program.
This sort of basic trick might seem to target only the gullible, but don't be so sure. These kinds of calls have become increasingly sophisticated. You may have no idea you were being hoodwinked until your money and reputation suddenly disappear down the drain. Like many things, good fraud detection can begin at home.
Fortunately, there's one very easy way to step up your fraud prevention skills and make sure the bad guys don't take advantage of your info: don't give it to them. It's that simple. The government doesn't need to call you for this kind of information. If someone you weren't expecting rings you up for your numbers, it's most likely a hoax. Tell them you're not interested, grill them on who they represent, or best yet, just hang up.
I'm probably preaching to the converted. Maybe this is old news to you personally, but what about everyone in your company? One pair of loose lips is all it takes to compromise your security. This is just one of the reason it's important to invest in anti-fraud training, so your entire team is on the same page – and doesn't end up in a police report.
John Sileo is a fraud prevention expert and keynote speaker on privacy, identity and reputation protection. His clients included the Department of Defense, Pfizer, and Homeland Security. See his recent media appearances on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper and Fox Business.