RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Recognizing a fraudulent phone call or text message is getting tougher to do because the bad guys are always trying to improve their scamming techniques.
However, there are ways to determine if someone is trying to deceive you.
Whether it comes on your phone as a voice call or via a text message, they all have one thing in common.
“Oftentimes scammers will use area codes that are similar to whoever they are contacting the area that they are in,” said Erin Kemp, a Consumer Advocate at BeenVerified.
A new study by BeenVerified indicates in North Carolina, the area code most faked by scammers is 910—while in neighboring South Carolina it’s 803 and 757 for Virginia.
“When people see that area code that they’re familiar with, they’re more comfortable answering it and letting their guard down a little bit more than they should,” said Kemp.
Phony text messages are the king of scams, containing links to websites that will cost you your cash/personal information or both.
“…People are often more able to answer text messages because we’ve become so accustomed to it in our day-to-day lives…” said Kemp.
In fact—stats compiled by the company Simple Texting indicate that 98 percent of text messages are opened and read.
One of the best ways to figure out if a phone number is legit is to do a reverse search to find out if there’s been suspicious activity associated with that phone number.
Services like BeenVerified charge a monthly subscription fee starting at $26.
You can also try to do it yourself.
“Go to whatever company that they’re claiming to be from independently,” said Kemp. “Find their website independently, find their phone number, and verify it yourself before you reply.”
Among the Top 12 Dirty Dozen scam calls and texts are ones impersonating banks, as well as ones telling you you’ve missed a package delivery.