Scammers are raking in billions by targeting victims where they least expect it
Pop quiz: What should you do if a foreign prince emails you requesting your SSN and bank routing number so he can transfer you a couple million dollars?
Obviously, you delete the email.
This "Nigerian Prince" scam has been around for so long that almost no one will fall for it anymore.
Unfortunately, scammers are well aware that we have grown wise to their classic ruses, and have stepped up their game accordingly.
According to Internet security experts, scammers are now using a multitude of new tactics to get your personal information, including pretending they're your bank, the government or tech support from companies like Microsoft, Norton and McAfee.
And they're targeting you where you least expect it: Your trusted cellphone.
KDVR reports that Colorado native Mike Webb, who was wary of these types of scams, was able to positively identify a scammer who called him claiming to be with the IRS and record the entire conversation.
Webb then shared his recording to spread awareness of how legitimate these calls can sound.
In the conversation, a caller is heard asking "do you have good intentions to resolve this case with the IRS?" The voice went on to say "you need to go to the bank and withdraw the amount of $6,300 in cash."
Webb also noted that the caller kept using the term "rules and regulations," which is something he said future victims should watch out for.
After he eventually called the woman out for having bad intentions, she apparently seemed to show remorse for her actions.
"I do have a heart," the would-be scammer said to Webb in a recorded phone conversation. "I do have a heart."
And Webb's case is certainly not isolated.
"I've seen an increase," Baltimore resident Stephanie King said about fraudulent calls. "Six months ago, I wasn't getting any."
Sophisticated cellphone scammers target millions of Americans, and according to one survey, they cashed out with about $7.4 billion in stolen funds last year alone.
To avoid potential scams, you should know that the government won't call you for money, and neither will tech support. Ever.
Ultimately, security experts suggest if an unfamiliar number pops up, let it go to voicemail. If it's really that important, the caller will leave a message.
Better safe than sorry!
More on Mike Webb's story: