As I was sitting down to write this article, pondering exactly which topic to cover, my phone rang. I had a few deliveries on the way so I figured that perhaps a driver was calling me, so I answered the call to be greeted with:
“Ah hello sir, I am Mike from Paypal. Could you please verify to me your details?”
I laughed, hung up and had my Tech Corner topic decided for me.
Scam Phone Calls!
You will never receive a phone call from Microsoft, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, or any other company like this completely out of the blue.
It’s very common to receive a call from people pretending to be a representative of a large company, who have the sole intention of tricking you into giving up your personal information. They hope that if they fool you into telling them your details, they can then call the bank and pretend to be you and empty your account before you even know what happened.
If you ever receive a phone call from someone purporting to speak on behalf of your bank, ask for their extension number or name, tell them you’re going to call the bank back and ask to be put through. Call the phone number on your bank statement, or the one on their website. If they are legitimate, you’ll be reconnected with the person you were speaking to and you’ve confirmed their identity.
If the agent you are speaking to is unable to give you those details, or does not want you to call the phone number on the banks website and instead call one that they give you, that’s a red flag right there and you should hang up and carry on your day without a second thought.
This can all sound very obvious, but these calls can catch you at the most peculiar times; perhaps you’ve transferred a sum of money from the UK to your Spanish bank account and then the next week receive a call ‘from your bank’, or perhaps you bought something of high value on Amazon, then get a phone call ‘from Paypal’ a few days later. You would be likely to believe that you are talking to the real deal.
Just take care and be warned!