Like everyone, I regularly receive scam emails and text messages. Most of the scam emails are caught in the junk or spam filters, there are the occasional emails that evade the filters and I just flagged them as spam. Scam text messages are either deleted or, depending on the mobile provider, also flagged as spam.

I received a scam text message today saying that my crypto hardware wallet had been successfully connected to a MacBook Air from an IP address in France and to contact them if it wasn’t me. I immediately knew it was a scam as I do not use a crypto hardware wallet and ignored it.

For most scams, that should be the end of that. However, I received a phone call less than 30 minutes later from someone claiming to be from the company to follow up on the scam. The number originated from Victoria, Australia so I answered it thinking it might be work-related. It was only after the call ended did I realised that this was a follow-up call for the scam text message. The scammer ended up hanging up on me as I didn’t engage with him as he couldn’t provide a name for the person he wanted to speak with.

Here’s how to stay vigilant and protect yourself:

  • Red Flags: Scammers often use urgency, scare tactics, or promises of too-good-to-be-true deals. Be wary of unsolicited calls, especially those pressuring you to act immediately.
  • Verify, Don’t Trust: Don’t confirm personal information or account details over the phone, even if the caller claims to be from a legitimate source. Look up official contact information for the company or organization they supposedly represent, and call them directly.
  • Silence is Golden: Scammers rely on your fear or confusion. If the call seems suspicious, politely hang up. You don’t owe them an explanation.
  • Talk it Out: Discuss the situation with a trusted friend, family member, or law enforcement agency. Talking it through can help you stay calm and avoid making any rash decisions.

Remember: Legitimate companies won’t pressure you into immediate action or threaten you with consequences. By staying alert and following these tips, you can outsmart scammers and protect your hard-earned money and personal information.