What Are Pennsylvania Phone Scams?
Phone scams include all the crimes that are executed on Pennsylvania residents via the telephone. New technology has made it less complicated for scammers to contact and deceive consumers. This has rendered the Pennsylvania Do-Not-Call registry inadequate in many ways.
Like every other scam, phone scams are referred to the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General through the Bureau of Consumers Protection. The state has witnessed many scam reports over the years, and the government is putting up measures to control the menace. Pennsylvanians who believe that they have fallen victim to phone scams are encouraged to complete and submit the scam complaint form.
Here is a list of notable phone scams in Pennsylvania:
- Voice Phishing Scams: This occurs when a con artist 'spoofs' a recognized business telephone number to defraud unsuspected persons. The purpose is to get the victim to divulge sensitive information about themselves or the account. Victims can identify a scam call by using a reverse phone number lookup tool.
- 809 Phone Scams: This is when fraudsters call a preferred target to discuss an increase in telephone charges. Unsuspecting persons are eventually tricked into signing up for high charges on their phone bills.
- Warrant Scam: The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) has warned residents of the state about a phone scam where fraudsters impersonate sheriff deputies. Victims are informed of a warrant for an unpaid fine before they are threatened to pay the fine to a fake account. Contact your local police or a local phone lookup service provider.
- Lottery Scam: Here, the scammers tell the victims that they have won a lottery in another country. The fraudsters proceed to request that the individual pays a certain fee upfront as tax fees.
- Credit Card Scams: The scammers call and impersonate any official at the Security and Fraud Department at Visa. The recipient is informed that his or her card has been flagged for unusual purchase patterns. The intention is to obtain the three-digit PIN at the back of the credit card.
- Spyware Scams: The fraudsters deploy spyware programs to obtain vital information on their victims’ computers and mobile devices. Spyware appears in different forms, such as pop-up ads and third-party search toolbars.
- Unemployment Scam: The victims receive a call from an individual claiming to work for the state's Department of Labor & Industry and requesting personal information like a password or social security number.
- Unwanted Text Message (SMS) Spams: The scammers send unwanted spam messages to convince their victims to divulge their personal and financial information. Such messages come from illegitimate businesses offering rewards or prizes and requesting the phone users to claim or redeem prices by signing up, paying certain fees, or providing sensitive information.
- Nigerian Advance Fee Scam popularly called ‘419’: The fraudsters claim to be seeking assistance in transferring or handling a huge amount of money. They usually promise their victims a share of the money as payment for the service. Scammers impersonate Nigerian government officials or legitimate business persons requesting bank information and other sensitive financial data as part of a grand scheme to defraud their targets.
- Holiday Scams: The Pennsylvania State Police listed the following phone scams as holiday scams because they are often carried out during such periods:
- Money Transfer Scam: The scammers promise victims' cash in return for using a money transfer service to wire money back to the scammer. Victims are usually given fraudulent checks or a secret shopper.
- Copycat website: The fraudsters create a false website that looks exactly like the legitimate website. These sites are used to obtain victims' login details, including credentials, and passwords.
- Holiday Travel Scam: The scammers offer discounted prices for airline tickets and hotel rooms via the telephone. These schemes are used to collect bank account information. When you receive a suspicious call, take the necessary precaution. Start by doing a reverse phone number search.
What Are Pennsylvania IRS Scams?
Pennsylvania IRS scams are perpetrated by fraudsters claiming to recover owed taxes from their victims. These scammers spoof IRS phone numbers, so their calls show up on the victims’ caller IDs as legitimate IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) numbers. They usually employ verbal threats to persuade the victims to pay the supposed fee. A phone lookup is an effective way to keep callers in check.
What Are Pennsylvania Emergency Scams?
Pennsylvania Emergency scam refers to any scam that targets families, the elderly, and senior citizens. These scams are generally called ‘Grandparents scam’ or ‘Family scam.’ Grandparent Scam is one of the leading scam cases in Pennsylvania. It happens when scammers claim to be the grandchild of their victim before asking for a favor, which is usually a money transfer. In most cases, the scammer claims that the amount demanded is meant to secure bail or cater for their welfare. The purpose is to make their need very urgent to elicit pity from their victims.
The Pennsylvania Police Department encourages residents to speak up when contacted by a supposed grandchild asking for money to get out of an emergency. Discuss the situation with any close family member to be sure. Victims of Emergency scams should contact the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General and file a complaint.
What Are Pennsylvania Voice Phishing Scams?
Voice phishing, also referred to as vishing scams in Pennsylvania, is a common phone scam. It occurs when a fraudster impersonates a legitimate business, such as a bank, and claims that the recipient's account has been compromised. The caller often states that the recipient must update their account information through a link to a scammer’s website.
This is created to trick targets into giving up personal information such as credit cards, bank accounts, and social security numbers. Next, the target is then directed to a 1-800 number where an automated system requests that the caller enter their account or credit card number or even their social security number to secure their account.
What Are Pennsylvania Tech Support Scams?
Tech support scams are perpetrated by individuals claiming to represent a well-known technology company. Usually, it can be a tech company that the victim has an account with. These con artists attempt to convince victims to provide them with access to their computers.
Next, the scammers may install malware on these computers to steal sensitive financial information saved on the device. When contacted by a strange caller claiming to be tech support, use reverse phone number lookup to verify their identity.
How Do I Avoid Becoming a Victim of a Phone Scam?
- Caller ID spoofing has made it possible for scammers to go unnoticed. Residents should hang up and report suspicious phone calls to the Pennsylvania State Police. Residents can verify the phone number with a reverse phone number lookup tool. Alternatively, individuals can fill and submit the scam complaint form to the State's Attorney General's Office.
- Do not reply to emails or calls claiming that your account will be shut down unless you provide sensitive information.
- Before providing sensitive information through a website or phone call, contact the appropriate authorities for more information.
- Report any telemarketing infringement to the Pennsylvania State Police.
- Be up to date with the standard practice for banks and government agencies requesting login details.
- Be skeptical about cold calls and solicited emails from supposed charity organizations. Do a reverse phone number search for more information.
- Know that the IRS can not call to demand immediate payment using a specific method. A phone lookup will help you identify the name and address associated with the caller ID.
- Residents may also use the reverse phone number service to verify and clear doubts about a phone number’s authenticity and who it is registered to. Individuals can also get information about a phone number via genuine search engines.
- If you suspect a robocall, hang up the phone as soon as you can. However, if you decide to answer, do not follow the prompts directing you to speak to a customer representative or agent. You can also use a reverse phone service to verify the number.
- Be wary of free trial offers. It is customary for companies to offer free trial offers to potential customers to try out their goods or services. If you submit your credit card details while signing up for the free trial offer, make sure to review the company’s cancellation policy to determine that you can easily cancel your subscription after the trial period.
According to the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), residents should beware of the usual holiday sales scam. Some of these scams fall under the spectrum of phone scams, and the PSP outlines the following tips to help individuals avoid them.
- Use secure websites with an identifiable lock symbol in the address bar.
- Ensure you type the correct official website of businesses.
- Be mindful of cashback rewards and research offers before signing up.
- Do not click on unknown links in emails.
- Do not provide personal information, addresses, or bank account numbers to anyone you are not sure of.