On June 14, 2011 the iPhone application “The Scam Detector” became available in the Apple AppStore. This application exposes over 350 of the most popular scams in the world and give advice on how one can protect themselves from these listed scams and scams-alike.
The application was developed by the producers of the 419: the Nigerian Scam short film and provides nine categories, broken down into subcategories listing various scams that continue to claim victims around the world.
Scams often happen to people that never believe it will happen to them. Everyone should be prepared to look for and fight scams.
One of the most popular scams is what’s listed as their “Credit Card Charges” scam.
You get a call from someone who says he’s working for your credit card provider:
“Sorry to disturb you, but there’s been some activity on your card that we believe might be fraudulent. Did you just purchase $487 worth of products at Winni’s in Raleigh, North Carolina?”
Shocked and confused, you offer a hurried, “no.” The man asks you whether you have lost your wallet or if you have your credit card in your possession.
You say you do have it, so he proceeds to confirm your credit card number. To build your trust, he’ll read you the full number on the front of the card and the first four digits on the back of the card. But he tells you he needs to confirm the last three digits on the back. You read them, he says “That’s correct,” and tells you that your money will be refunded in five business days.
As you may have guessed, the money won’t be refunded, and you will be faced with several new charges. Scammers can get the bulk of your credit number from receipts–but it’s the security numbers that you just gave him that really grant him access to everything.
How to avoid: the only reason you should ever need to give those numbers is if you’re making a purchase. And if your credit card company wants to confirm your identity, they’ll use things like your birthday or postal code; not sensitive banking information. And if you’re ever skeptical, you can always hang up and dial the number on the back of your card. That way, you can be sure of whom you’re talking to.
First of all, big red flag in my book because there’s no Winni’s in Raleigh! But if I received a call like this my emotions would most likely set in and I would begin to panic. Don’t let the panic cloud your judgement in situations like this!
While I find this app to be beneficial I find the price of $1.99 a bit steep. The app is brand spanking new so we’ll see where it progresses over time.
To see a video tutorial of The Scam Detector app please see the video below.
As an added bonus to this post, if you haven’t already watched the 419: The Nigerian Scam video you can do so below….