If you've recently noticed a missed call on your cellphone from an international number, you're not alone as another phone scam is making the rounds.
A lot of the calls are coming up as from Albania, Macedonia or the Seychelles.
Ron Mycholuk with the Better Business Bureau of central and northern Alberta explains how it works.
“What they’re hoping is that you will see a call whether from a local, national or international number and international is really the focus and you’re curious, you’re wondering why, you’re wondering what is this, what’s this for and you’re going to call it back and you’ll rack up those long distance charges. So this is kind of just an I’m going to get you kind of scam, there’s not a long con there, it’s a ha ha we’re going to fool with people and rack up their bills”.
Unfortunately if you call the number back, Mycholuk says it's likely not the last time you'll be targeted by scammers as there's a good chance your number will then be added to their lists and used again.
“Absolutely, they may call you one time with where you hear the cruise ship horn and you think you’ve won a free trip, and one time they may just want to call you and help you with your credit card rate, one time they might pretend to be from CRA and tell you that if you don’t give some information over the phone right then they’re going to send you to collections, once they have your number you just never know”.
Mycholuk says your best defence is to be cautious of who you are giving your personal information to.
“When you’re giving your email or your phone number out for a draw or for a promotional package at a trade show or you’re putting it online to enter into a survey, you don’t know who their affiliates are, who their partners are, who they are going to sell that information to and once you click that I acknowledge that this may be shared, that’s what happens”.
You are also encouraged to check your financials regularly, don't call back numbers you don't know, and stay educated and alert.
The Better Business Bureau also offers a Scam Tracker app on its website to help you stay ahead of the latest scams.
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