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Cell Phone Scams!

By Will from Holland

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We're cruising along in the car listening to music. My buddy gets a phone call:

"Last warning: your car insurance warranty is about to expire! Press "1" to talk to a representative," the voice says. Without thinking, my buddy presses "1" and looks lost while listening to what the person on the phone has got to say.

Wait a minute; he suddenly remembers he doesn't even have a car!

Cell Phone Scams

What's happening here? This particular call was just a stupid telemarketing scam. This company is trying to get you to buy their insurance. Not only is the insurance often a poor value or worthless, the call is pretty annoying.

The solution? Wait for the second menu option before pressing "1…" Press "2" and you will be removed from the call list. Bingo!

So what about cell phone scams that can be more painful?

How about ringtone scams?

Are you one of the millions of people that download ringtones? Yeah, me too. But if you download a ringtone from a service other than your cell phone provider, you have to watch out. Many people don't realize accepting some "free" ringtone offers automatically subscribes you to some worthless monthly service that can cost you $29.95 a month! And it can take hours or days to cancel these services.

The solution? Don't download ringtones from random sites… Stay with your cell phone provider or a reputable service. Also… read the terms and agreements before ordering anything!

Next Up: Text Message Scams.

Ever gotten a text message from a phone number that you don't recognize, but it sounds like the text is from a buddy? Something like: "Hey, it's Joe! Wanna catch up soon?"

Let's say you reply… just out of curiosity. You may actually be sending a text message to a premium service, charging you anywhere between $1 and $6!

Cell Phone Scams

The solution? Duh. Don't send a text back to unknown numbers. The same thing happens with phone calls from random numbers. Be careful who you call back. It might cost you dearly.

Alright, these scams are not going to cost you thousands. But here's one that might.

Snap a Shot and Steal. Did you know that scammers are actually using their cell phones to take pictures and/or video images of your credit and/or debit cards?

If you're not careful with how you hold your cards in shops and restaurants, and a scammer manages to take a picture of your card with his phone, this crook might actually be able to rip you off for thousands.

The solution? Be careful where you put your cards, or how you hold them. Don't let your cards lay around on your table while having dinner, for instance. And cover your hand when you punch your PIN into an ATM.

Sounds good? We have more helpful tips on scams and rip-offs like these on our website.

Cheers, Will.