Americans Lost $39.5 Billion to Phone Scams in the Last Year. 5 Tips to Protect Your Money

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  • 68.4 million Americans fell victim to phone scams within the last year.
  • The average person reported a loss of $577.
  • There are steps you can take to avoid these scams and protect your money.

One in three Americans reported falling victim to phone scams.

Phone scams have been a problem for a while, but they're getting worse. Scammers are getting more creative at finding ways to con people into parting with their hard-earned money. A recent study found that Americans lost $39.5 billion to phone scams in the last year. Find out more about this study and see what you can do to protect your finances.

Truecaller, a caller ID and spam blocking app, partnered with The Harris Poll to research how phone scams have impacted Americans. It turns out that phone scams are a big issue, and the problem is only worsening.

According to a recent study, 68.4 million, or one out of three Americans reported falling victim to phone scams in the last year. What's more, 20% of those people fell for scams on more than one occasion. The average reported loss was $577.

The study estimates that $39.5 billion was lost to scam tactics in the past year. Truecaller has been researching this issue for several years, and this is the highest reported loss figure yet.

Could you fall victim to a phone scam?

Have you ever received a questionable call or text message from a scammer? Phone calls and text messages are both common -- but text messages from scammers are on the rise. The same study found that spam texts have doubled in the last three years.

You may think you're immune to scam tactics like this, but anyone can fall for them. Some calls or text messages seem legitimate. It's essential to be cautious when you receive calls or messages from an unknown number. If you fall for a scam, someone could drain the money from your bank account.

Five tips to protect yourself from money-draining scams

Luckily, there are ways that you can protect yourself from scams, so you don't put your money or your personal information at risk. The following tips can help you avoid falling for phone scams:

  1. Don't answer unknown calls. If you receive a call from an unknown caller, don't answer it. If it's a legitimate call, the caller will leave a message or find another way to contact you.
  2. Avoid responding to text messages from unknown numbers. Like with unknown callers, it's best to ignore text messages unless you know the person who sent them.
  3. Contact companies directly. If you get a text message or a call from a company and you're unsure if it's them or a scammer, hang up. Your best bet is to reach out to them directly so you know that you're dealing with an official company representative.
  4. Don't click links from unknown people. If you receive an email or text message from an unknown person that includes a link, don't click it. The link could be a way to collect private information from you.
  5. Trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is. It's better to be cautious than to be overly trusting.

Phone scams are on the rise, but by being aware and taking the proper steps to protect yourself, you can avoid theft and deception and protect your finances. If you're looking for more tips on managing your money, check out these personal finance resources.

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