How scammers get your phone number [UPDATED]

How scammers get our contact number.

How did scammers find you?
This is an interesting question to ask, the level of artificial intelligence in our computers is growing day by day, and there is no doubt that the bad guys leveraging it.
So have you ever wondered how on earth did those scammers get your phone number, address, or email? Is it random or is there a science to the targeting? Experts say it's both.
Scammers and tricksters are always on the lookout for what will get them new victims and some quick bucks, their constant updates, and tweaking make it harder for us to spot, however, we can overcome them only if we have a little knowledge about what they think we don't know.

AARP Fraud Watch Network Ambassador,  Frank W. Abagnale, who was a longtime FBI consultant and his early life as a con artist was portrayed in the film "Catch Me If You Can," equates it with playing roulette. he stated that sometimes your unlucky number just comes up. 

But AARP Foundation's Amy Nofziger, who has degrees in criminology and sociology, cites three additional reasons.

  • Data purchases.
"Scammers also buy phone numbers from companies that sell data," she explains. "They'll use the same methods legitimate marketing companies do, but for nefarious purposes."
  • Con artists network.
Just as we are currently campaigning against scammers, they have been communicating in their various ways to be updated about their most profitable tricks.

"If you've been a victim of a fraud or scam, you're put on a so-called sucker list," Nofziger says. "The lists are bought, sold, traded, and stolen among scammers because they're perceived as potential gold mines. Scammers will usually target the victims with a 'recovery' or 'reload' scam. They pretend to be from a consumer group or law enforcement agency and trick you into thinking they'll help get your money back — for a fee."

  • Volunteered info.
This is personal info you willingly divulge by entering giveaways and sweepstakes, or when filling out surveys. "Scammers use all this to create profiles for who they want to target," Nofziger says. "Often they'll target older adults, who they perceive as holding the majority of wealth."
  • Social Network
Surely scammers are not demons from hell, they are the people we mingle with both in real life and on the internet, we might not know them by mere looking, but they might be your best friend, worst enemy, or some random person in your area.

The worst part of the matter is their ability to reproduce a completely fake profile with even backgrounds and fake relatives.

In this case, Both Facebook and WhatsApp are the places we will look forward to since they force out information from us, like phone numbers and email addresses, and we are likely to be exposed to scammers via those Networks.

You should always protect your profile by changing its privacy to "Only Friends can view your confidential information" and make sure you are only adding and accepting people you know.
WhatsApp didn't have the feature of hiding a phone number, which is why you have to be more careful with the groups you join, make sure you stay away from groups that have No genuine Discussions or have Illegal purposes.

Groups that are showing adult content are also likely to contain such people.
Always be careful with the people you meet online, value your privacy, hide all the necessary information you can, stop signing up on services you don't need, don't join spam sites, and don't hand over your personal information until you do good research.

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