DON'T get caught out by a dangerous phone call that empties your bank account.
Crooks can use scam calls to drain your money without you even realizing – but there are ways to stay safe.
A security specialist at McAfee has revealed how following a "rule of six" lifestyle changes can save you from a "robocall" disaster.
"Whether the voice on the other end of the smartphone is recorded or an actual person, the intent behind the call is likely the same – to scam you out of your personal information, money, or both," the McAfee cyber-expert explained.
"Callers such as these might impersonate banks, government agencies, insurance companies, along with any number of other organizations.
"Anything that gives them an excuse to demand payment, financial information, or ID numbers. "
They might tell you it's time to renew an extended warranty on your car, according to McAfee.
Another reported scam involves offering you debt relief at extremely low rates.
Crooks can even use "spoofing" technology to make their phone numbers seem innocent.
A key warning sign that a scammer is on the line is when they warn you of an urgent problem that needs to be resolved immediately.
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How to stay safe from robocall scams
The McAfee cyber-expert recommends adjusting your habits to follow six rules.
This set of six rules could keep you safe from a dangerous or costly robocaller scam.
The first rule is to simply not pick up – even if the number appears to be local.
You may fall for a number "spoof", so it's important to not speak on the call.
If you end up saying even a few words, crooks could use AI to clone your voice to defraud you.
The second tip is to use call-blocking features on your iPhone or Android.
It's possible to automatically silence unknown numbers on iOS, for instance.
Your cell carrier may also have a spam call blocking filter that you can activate.
Thirdly, you must never return calls from unknown numbers.
"So, let’s say you let an unknown call go through to voicemail. The call sounds like it’s from a bank or business with news of an urgent matter," McAfee explained.
"If you feel the need to confirm, get a legitimate customer service number from a statement, bill, or website of the bank or business in question so you can verify the situation for yourself.
"Calling back the number captured by your phone or left in a voicemail can play right into the hands of a scammer. "
The fourth rule is to avoid giving in to pressure.
Scammers will put you under deadlines, make threats, and try to make you panic.
It's best to just hang up and verify any of the claims yourself.
McAfee's fifth rule is to sign up for your national "do not call" registry.
This can help cut down spam calls in the US, UK and Canada.
The sixth and final rule is to clean up your personal data online.
Google yourself and see if your phone number is listed anywhere on the internet.
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Also see what other information is out there – as it may help scammers target you.
Consider trying to take down as much of this information as possible.
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