Be aware of scams and cold calling

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There are a lot of phone scams that do the rounds – usually trying to extract money, personal details or both from you. One such phone scam doing the rounds at the moment (through +43 688 64842524 with a number of male and female callers) purports to be from a lost and found service and their script in bad German tries to sell you key locator keyrings – and of course require your address to do so, posing a safety risk. If they ring, hang up and block the number.

In case you are ever cold-called, a service like www.werhatangerufen.at can help to determine serious providers from scammers. In addition it is worth considering whether a serious provider will call from a prepaid service. Also be aware that scams often use convincing looking websites to back up their spurious scams.

Cold-calling is not allowed under the Telecommunications Act, but many directories exist, and it can prove difficult to get your number removed from lists, which are opt out rather than opt in, although many phones allow you to block numbers.

Other typical cold calling techniques advertise financial products – the Austrian Financial Market Authority has a lot of information about consumer protection from a collective perspective, and about being aware of dubious providers and scams.