Beware of cell phone scams

Published On: Nov 14 2012 08:50:18 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 15 2012 06:20:00 AM EST

It could be anyone on the other line asking you for your personal information, and by the time you realize it, it could be too late. Phone scammers are costing Americans $2 billion a year in unauthorized charges.

The average cell phone user gets eight calls a day, but the person on the other end may not be who you think.
 
The first scam comes straight from jail. If an inmate calls collect and tricks you into dialing a number that starts with *72, it will activate call forwarding. That gives them full control to rack up on long distance and 900-numbers. If you're unsure, don't dial *72, 72#, or 90#.
 
Next, the Federal Reserve will not pay your utility bills. Scammers will call and ask for your social, then provide you with a fake bank routing number -- allowing them to get your personal info and your cash.
 
Finally, watch out for texts claiming to send you a free gift card. If you click the link and offer your personal info, they can steal your identity.
 
Although 44 percent of wireless customers have reported that they have received mobile spam, fraud rate is the highest among 35- to 44-year-olds. Nearly 70 percent of spam text messages are scams.

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