The Latest Phone Scams for 2024: Everything You Need to Know
Cindy Ellis - January 29, 2024
Phone scams have been around since the advent of the telephone but they used to be a lot simpler back then. Unfortunately, every year, phone scammers get more creative and come up with new scams to steal someone’s identity, money, or other information. Therefore, it’s important to stay prepared for the latest phone scams; being prepared can prevent you or a loved one from losing money or your identity.
Unfortunately, knowing what scams are out there is easier said than done. Plus, you usually only learn about a new scam because it happened to you or someone you’re close to. Thankfully, it’s possible to stay ahead of these scams by learning about the latest phone scam trends for the upcoming year.
Read on to learn more below. We cover the latest phone scams, how to identify callers and much more.
The Latest Phone Scam Trends of 2024
Unfortunately, phone scams continue to evolve. Whenever people find a way to stop scammers, they come up with another method to trick people, so it’s like a game of cat and mouse. The good news is that you can stay ahead of the game by learning about the latest phone scams below.
The most recent trend for phone scams is AI-powered scams. These scams use AI technology to mimic someone’s voice, which has helped scammers target millions of unsuspecting victims. What’s more, AI tools like large language models (LLMs) have made it easier for scammers to send thousands of text messages that contain phishing links and other types of malware.
Unfortunately, many of these scams are targeted at the elderly because they might not notice the difference. Therefore, it’s important to spread the word and make sure you educate people on what you should and shouldn’t say to someone on the phone.
Unfortunately, whenever something positive is talked about, scammers jump right on the opportunity. President Biden’s administration had put together a plan to forgive student debt, and while it didn’t pan out, it has inspired scammers to pose as fake loan officers to try and get the social security number or banking information from people who have student loan debt. With student loan payments picking back up in 2024, it’s important to hang up the phone whenever a planning officer calls you and verify their identity online or by calling the company that holds your loans.
Google has taken measures to keep your information safe and secure. Security features like additional verification, Google voice codes, and alerting you when new devices are trying to access your account are all features that keep you safe online. Unfortunately, scammers have started to get creative and will use your phone number to set up an account for spoofing others. They accomplish this by getting you to relinquish a Google voice verification code that’s sent to you.
Typically, the scam will happen on sellers’ marketplaces, and the scammer will pose as someone worried about being scammed. They’ll use your phone number to set up a Google Voice account and ask for the security code to complete the setup process. The most common way to ask for this is for the scammer to pretend they need the code for protection.
Robocalls have become a part of life, and they’re usually harmless if you hang up the phone. However, a new scam is going around where callers will pose as the fraud department for companies like Robinhood, Coinbase, and other financial websites.
The goal here is for the caller to scare you into giving them your 2FA code, which will let them into your account. If it’s gotten this far, there’s a good chance that your password has been compromised—and they might tell you this, but never give your code to anyone else. When this happens, you’ll want to verify with the company’s actual fraud department to learn more information.
This scam may also occur with credit card companies, your bank, and other financial services.
5. Job Scams
The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the way that people work, so it’s common for people to have jobs that don’t require them to leave the house. If you’re looking for one of these opportunities, you can check platforms like LinkedIn or Indeed and apply directly on the company’s website. However, sometimes you might get an offer that sounds too good to be true. In these cases, you’re dealing with a work-from-home scam.
These scams can take place via phone calls, email, or even text messages. In fact, some scammers go to great lengths and will even FaceTime their users. The goal of this scam is to take your social security number, driver’s license information, and much more when you fill out the application. Therefore, it’s important to verify the identity and legitimacy of any company before applying.
Social media and smartphones have made it easy for romance scams to start cropping up all over the place. These scams involve someone using a fake picture or identity and convincing someone to fall in love with them. This is popular on social media websites like Instagram, through text messages, and much more.
Regardless of the avenue, the goal of the scam is simple: convince someone to fall in love with the scammer and have them send money. Single people are the most vulnerable as well as people who don’t know much about technology or social media.
In general, scammers have been using text messages to scam people more and more. Text message scams have evolved and continue to gain traction, with people stealing people’s phone numbers, authenticator codes, and much more. Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission found that people lost more than 300 million dollars in 2022, and that number is expected to rise as data from 2023 becomes available.
The new wave of text message scams tends to be UPS scams. This is where the scammer will generate a fake tracking number or tell you that there was an issue with your package. Scammers may even alert you to a purchase you didn’t make, which can make you frantically click the link to see what’s wrong. Unfortunately, this is a new type of phishing scam and it ultimately results in you giving up your credentials for websites like Amazon, Walmart, and even Temu.
Another latest phone scam is the impersonation scam, which involves someone calling you and posing as someone from a company, a friend, or anyone else they can impersonate. In the past, this used to be common with people pretending to be grandchildren of grandparents or IRS agents asking for money.
Today, impersonation scams are more common from companies like Amazon. For example, people will pose as Amazon workers who have an issue with your order, and then they’ll ask for your personal information to steal your identity or banking details. Additionally, impersonation scams may occur through text messages or emails, so remain vigilant.
How To Defend Against the Latest Phone Scams
Defense is the best offense when it comes to phone scams; typically, they can’t scam you if you don’t answer the phone. For this reason, the best way to protect yourself is to simply ignore calls from unknown numbers. Unfortunately, this isn’t appropriate for every situation, so we have some other methods to help you defend against the latest phone scams.
First and foremost, don’t answer the phone if you’re worried that the person calling you is a scammer. Answering the phone can be all the caller needs because it tells them that your number is active. This will lead to more scam calls or the caller stealing your voice to use on other people to make them sound human.
While this might sound fake, it’s happening at a rapid rate, and there have been several reports of people’s voices and identities being stolen in this way. For example, Fox Business has found that scammers are using AI to steal or imitate voices. Therefore, your first line of defense is not picking up the phone.
The best way to verify a caller is with our reverse phone lookup tool. When a strange number calls you, all you need to do is enter the phone number into our tool to view all public records about it. You can find the name of the person who’s calling, the location of the phone number, and any companies it’s associated with. From there, you can call the number back or answer the phone next time to ensure that the person on the phone verifies this information.
You can also use this tool after a phone call to know if you should avoid speaking with them in the future. Ultimately, it’s the best way to identify a caller when you’re unfamiliar with the number. This tool can also help you determine if a number is spoofed (stolen by someone else), so it’s a great way to get around any phone scam.
Education is the most important aspect of avoiding the latest phone scams. You want to make sure you and the people around you know how to spot a scam before giving away personal information or following any links. Take some time to learn about the latest scams and understand how each one works to remain prepared.
We also recommend speaking with the older generations of your family to ensure that they know to clarify who’s on the other line and don’t provide callers with personal information. Education is powerful, and it’s one of the best defenses against scammers.
When it comes to scam calls, it’s essential to be prepared. Thankfully, the latest phone scams we covered should be enough to get you through 2024 without any trouble. Make sure you’re mindful of phone scams from recent years as well because those are still going around as well.
We also recommend verifying any unknown phone number with our reverse phone lookup tool. It will help you identify the caller and let you know if you should answer in the first place. You can also use it to ensure that the person on the phone is who they claim to be.