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Leading global thought leader and founder of award-winning app and software development firm Elegant Media, Anushka Bandara, warns of the tactics phone scammers use to get your number

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According to Anushka Bandara, co-founder and CEO of Elegant Media, people all over the world, are experiencing a sharp increase in the number of scam calls they are receiving on their phones.

“We are receiving feedback from a lot of people that they are receiving recorded scam calls on their phone from people pretending to be from key government authorities,” Bandara said.

“While most people know to hang up immediately, unfortunately some don’t – especially the elderly who are being fleeced of lots of money.

“Even if your number is on the Do Not Call Register, scammers still finding ways to get your number and call you.

“The Do Not Call Register will work for organisations that follow the rules, but sadly scammers don’t.”

Bandara explains how your phone number ends up in the hands of unethical callers.

“Every day we are engaging with businesses and organisations that capture our personal details, even apps,” Bandara said.

Most telemarketers purchase phone numbers from third party data providers however scammers use different methods and often they call from overseas.

“It is important to understand a few basics.  Nearly all mobile phones have display screens that show the Calling Line Identification (CLI)  which allows you to see the telephone number of the person calling,” Bandara said.

“A process called CLI overstamping allows the caller to display a different number to that of the number from which they are calling.   For example in Australia, Australian businesses with overseas call centres often use this tactic to make their customers think they are calling from Australia.

“Another tactic called ID spoofing enables the scammer to disguise their number by displaying an Australian number.  These tactics can lull people into a false sense of security and they answer the call.”

The question is how do they get your number and what should you do once they call.  Generally they use two methods, robocalls and number theft.

Hack databases

“Scammers usually use unscrupulous methods to get phone numbers.  A common approach is to hack business websites to access their customer information.  The increasing number of businesses operating online provides scammers with a huge ocean of opportunity,” Bandara added.

“Most businesses don’t even know they have been hacked, which makes the situation even worse.”

Trade data

“Scammers often trade information with other scammers to share data.  Sometimes they will purchase it for a small amount of money,” Bandara said.

Apps and games

“Scammers also create apps and games and share these for free in order to capture personal information,” Bandara explained.

“It is very important to do your homework before you sign up to any online activities as there is no such thing as free.”

Public wifi

“If you use public wifi or other systems that are not as secure as they could be, you are opening yourself up to risk.  Scammers can intercept information and your personal details using these facilities,” Bandara added.

Surveys and competitions

“Every time you enter an online competition, complete an online survey or send your warranty information online, you are submitting your personal details to someone,” Bandara added.

Robocalls

“Computer generated random number calling is a thing and scammers with the technology capabilities are able to implement this strategy and call thousands of numbers over a short period of time,” Bandara said.

According to Bandara, while more needs to be done by governments across the world to cut off scammers from the source through implementation of clever technology that attaches real identities to each caller number and then validates enabling the call, until this happens, every individual will need to be super vigilant.

“Don’t answer a call from a number you do not know.  If you get a call from a spammer, hang up and block the number,” Bandara emphasised.

“Every country has its own cyber crime reporting centre.  In addition, report the number to your service provider.

“Think more carefully about who you give your information to and where it might go.”

Elegant Media is a full-service mobile app development and software solutions provider for businesses, government and entrepreneurs. With hundreds of mobile app projects completed, their team is one of the most experienced teams in Australia. They are also the only app developer in Australia with ISO accreditation and also hold Apple and Google accreditation.

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