Mobile Scams: What can you do to prevent yourself against them?

 In Online scams, Phone Scams, Smart Phones, Technology

These days, it’s so important to know who’s calling your mobile with the number of scams that seem to be targeting us. Unfortunately, scammers are getting quite clever in obtaining personal information when impersonating government agencies like Centrelink and the ATO, along with Telcos like Telstra.

In September 2018 alone, Scamwatch (run by the ACCC) confirmed that there were 4,244 reported scams with a loss of $824,168 in total. Also confirmed was that 46.3% of these scams were generated via phone. On top of this staggering figure, there would be even more scams that wouldn’t have been reported as not all victims are aware they can report scams. The figure in September is much lower to that of July thankfully, where there was a reported loss of $1,480,448. We suspected that this figure was high then was end of financial year when ATO scams would have unfortunately been on a high.

As an IT company, we are always on the lookout for apps that make life easier and think we have finally have found an app that is available on both iOS and Android that does exactly that with scam calls.

The app called Hiya is designed to identify as many scam calls as it can. Of course, no app is full proof in that calls will still find their way to your voicemail once blocked, but we have found it to be pretty decent if you are one that frequently gets these calls.

All that’s required is that you download it from the app store (on iOS or Android) and it will ask you to place your phone number in, then send an activation code which you will receive by SMS. Once you’ve placed the activation code in, it will start detecting spam calls. Since the app will store a list of all your calls, if you do receive a call that is a spam call, you can go into the app after and also block the number or report the phone number if you wish, which sends the information to Hiya.

Within this app, you have an option as to what you would like to do with spam calls. You can either block and send calls to voicemail, or have the app show the warning that they are spam calls so that you’re aware when calls come in. If you are someone that doesn’t like receiving calls from private numbers as well, you can choose to send all of these calls to voicemail.

As telemarketing calls can be quite pesky, there are also a few other things you can do to try and prevent telemarketing calls and these are:

  • Do Not Call Register: This is a huge one. Your number should be listed on this register to try and prevent some telemarketers.
  • Block Calls: If you are constantly receiving calls from the same number, block them on your phone. This will still send calls to voicemail however.
  • Don’t hang up on them: Apparently if you do hang up on telemarketers and scammers, your number could stay on their list. Instead, ask them to remove your number from their list.
  • ACMA Complaint: If you continue to receive marketing calls from the same company and have asked to be removed from their list, you can lodge a complaint with the ACMA.