Fake Discount: Phone Scam Overview
Cell phone bills can be ridiculously expensive these days. The average cell phone bill is over $100 a month and many plans charge even more. Scammers aren't above taking advantage of disgruntled customers.
How Does the Fake Discount Phone Scam Work?
This is a common phishing scam. The caller will tell you that you have earned a credit or discount for your service, but you need to activate it to get the savings.
The caller will tell you that you must verify your personal information before you can get the credit. They will ask for your name, address, phone number, and credit card number. They may also ask you to make a payment over the phone to activate the offer.
Obviously, scammers can steal your identify and destroy your credit if they have access to this information. You’ll need to be aware of the warning signs to protect yourself.
How to Protect Yourself From the Scam
Fake discount scammers can be very convincing. Fortunately, you can identify them if you know what to look for. Here are some red flags to be aware of.
Caller asks for personal details.
You should always be careful if someone calls you and requests information to verify your account. If they are calling you out of the blue to tell you that you are eligible for a discount or credit, then they should already have access to your account details. They have the phone record on file and information associated with it.
A legitimate caller could ask for your zip code or phone number. However, they won’t ask you to verify your financial information or any other personal information.
The discount sounds too good to be true.
You’ll need to be aware of the credits and discount programs your phone provider actually offers. Discounts often change so when in doubt hang up and call your carrier directly to ask them about discounts.
If the caller keeps bringing up different discounts, you need to be suspicious. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Never make payments over the phone.
Your cell phone provider won’t ask you to make a payment over the phone. If you have actually earned a credit, then they will simply apply it to your account. New services that you order will be added to your next bill.
Never make payments over the phone unless you have verified the caller’s identity. In general, it’s best not to make a payment unless you initiated the call and know who you are speaking with.
How Do You Report This Scam?
Report fake discount phone scams to the FTC and your service provider.
You can also warn others about this scam by reporting it in our phone number lookup app for iPhone or our online phone book listings. You can tag numbers as spam, see other users’ feedback on numbers, and identify unknown callers using our reverse phone lookup service.