Best questions to ask in order to prevent phone scams
When you think that you are talking with a phone scammer – it is best to keep a level head. Do not scream or yell as you are not going to get any results. Try to think of a way to outsmart them, to make them give in which could give you a confident lead.
The lead could be useful for law enforcement or other people if you share information about a fraudster behind a specific phone number on reverse phone lookup service websites.To help you protect yourselves better from phone scams, here are a few right questions to ask a potential phone scammer.
- How did you get my number? – Obtaining a number from a third party can be illegal. You have to give consent for your number to be shared. If they cannot provide a solid answer, where they got your phone number from, raise your awareness to a maximum. You could even hang up the phone.
- How did you get my personal information? – If the caller cites some personal data, ask them where did they get it from. Think whether what they are saying can be true or not. Phone scammers can lurk near a hotel or bank trash to catch unattended questionnaires or surveys as well as credit card statements. These could give out little but enough for the scammer to think that they got you. Make them tell you and if they cannot – hang up.
- What do you know about me? – More of a follow-up to the two previous questions. If the caller fails to provide more information, quickly use an online phone lookup tool. By entering their number into the search bar, you can simultaneously see whether you should be worried or not. However, the caller responds could indicate whether you should worry or not.
- Do you love me? (or any random question) – It might seem silly, but it is not. By asking a random question out of the blue, you could make the scammer lose their character. They could crack or break character, and you could identify a scammer. It can be any other question, but it just has to be very, very off-topic.
- Could I talk to your supervisor/manager/boss? – You have to realise that this is a normal and common question. Upon such request, most scammers will likely make a mistake or slip up. Genuine callers will grant you that request or politely explain the current situation. If the boss or supervisor is not available at the moment, they should allow you to contact or get in touch with them via phone or email etc. If they do not provide you with sufficient information, you should be alert.
- Could we schedule a meeting at your office to discuss this further? – If there is a serious issue at hand, every organisation, especially banks or government officials, have to grant you the pleasure and comfort of meeting face to face. All serious financial or legal matters are preferred to be discussed in a real-life meeting. By seeing how the caller handles your request and proposition, you can further establish whether this is a scam or a genuine call.
- Could you send the same information to my email? – If you insist, the caller should send you all of the same information they are trying to tell over the phone, to your email. Reading a written letter, albeit digital and seeing the documents attached will give you more time to analyse whether it is genuine or not. You can see the phone number of the “employee” who is writing to you and scan it on a reverse phone lookup site. There has to be identifying credentials, a proper email address and other genuine information to prove that this is the real deal. Scammers will likely never send you that email.