Scammer Phrases: How To Spot A Crook Quickly And Save Money

Ellison Claptonreviewed byNataliia Afonina / more about Editorial Process9 min
Created: Dec 22, 2022Last updated: Jan 24, 2024
Scammer Phrases

Our world is not perfect and has always been full of fraudsters that only aim to deceive and steal people’s money. And the development of the Internet and the gradual digitalization of the global population have only exacerbated the problem. According to statistics, many thefts occur online or via phone calls. Despite all the security measures implemented by modern platforms, hackers find ways to bypass them. However, it’s worth noting that fraudsters often use typical scammer phrases, which will quickly allow you to identify potential dangers.

Forewarned is forearmed! We have gathered a list of attackers' most common fraudulent schemes. Familiarize yourself with them, even if you are confident you will never fall for scammers' tricks. And be sure to share the information with your loved ones, especially elderly people. After all, there are so many unpleasant stories about how our grandparents believed everything they were told and lost money because of fraudulent schemes. So, what things should you pay attention to if you do not want to become a scammer’s victim?

Bank Calls You First

Of course, this situation can happen, but it is sporadic and is mainly used to notify the client about new services. And, of course, financial institutions will in no case ask you to provide a credit card password or tell them the code you received in SMS. “Give us your card number and the password you got in SMS” is quite common among scammers. It may seem that this scheme is outdated and hardly anyone becomes its victim, but it is not. Hundreds of people are scammed daily, so be cautious about this issue.

If you receive such a call, feel free to interrupt the dialogue. You can always call the bank yourself and ensure there are no problematic situations or threats. Of course, it is better to double-check everything, so write an email to your bank or use the hotline number. But remember that no one forces you to give your personal data and passwords!

Telephone Scammer Phrases Are Always About Money

If you get a call with an incredible offer to transfer money to a safe deposit with cosmic interest, be sure that they are scammers. You will likely hear the phrase, "This offer is limited in time, and you need to deposit money right now." Come on, no legal financial institutions work like that and will not force the client to transfer funds urgently.

The same applies to the currency exchange at a very favorable rate, which you have never seen in a bank. Remember that you mustn’t transfer your funds to unfamiliar accounts since there’s a high probability it’s a scam. If you want to deposit money, use the financial services you trust.

The Element of Surprise: Everything Must Be Done Urgently

"Immediately transfer all funds from your account to this number as in a couple of minutes your card will be blocked" is one of the standard scammer sayings used for many years. And it works because a person loses the ability to think and acts automatically due to surprise and potential risks. 

It often happens that the victim instantly transfers money to scammers and realizes the stupidity of their actions only after a while. Hurry and fear work in thieves’ favor, so think carefully and remember that banks do not freeze their customers' accounts in several minutes without explaining the reasons.

A Sudden Huge Prize as One of the Common Scammer Phrases

“You are the lucky winner, and tons of money are waiting for their owner” is a popular topic for SMS mailing. It would be bizarre to hear that you won a huge prize if you did not participate in lotteries or play casinos. However, this trick is still popular among scammers. They send a message that you are the lucky person who won a million. And, of course, you need to pay a percentage of this amount before you receive the coveted prize. Is it worth clarifying that there is no winning?

Manipulation of the Health and Life of Loved Ones

Of course, it is unlikely that you will receive a ransom call for your child or partner: such situations only happen in Hollywood films. Nevertheless, speculations about relatives often occur in the real world. Obsession phrases scam like "Your brother just had a car accident, quickly transfer the necessary amount to the account, and we will solve your problem" is a popular scheme for fraudsters. Another option is “Your child is in the hospital and is about to die, send us money, and we will take care of them,” which is a stupid invention of scammers. 

As in the cases described above, the element of surprise plays an important role. People are willing to do anything when their loved ones are in danger. In such instances, many find it difficult to evaluate the situation adequately. However, you should keep a cool head and better call your close ones to ensure they are fine.

Threats of Litigation Due to Violations and Fines

"You have received a fine and must pay it immediately, or we are going to court!" Have you ever heard this from official legal institutions? You can be confident this is a scam if you receive such information in a call or message. Of course, there can be absolutely any reason for a fine: speeding, visiting illegal websites, or overdue credit. And again, everything is based on the element of surprise!

Be sure that even if you break the law somewhere, no one will immediately fine you or put you in jail. As a rule, fines come by mail or electronically, and you need to pay them to official accounts, not to the card number that was told you by phone.

The Prospects of Getting Quick Income

"Buy our lessons right now, and in a week, you will be earning thousands of dollars working a couple of hours a day." Tempting, right? We would also not refuse such an opportunity, but there is a nuance: it is impossible. Unfortunately, people have not yet come up with such simple schemes where you can instantly become a millionaire without knowledge, skills, or investments. So, how to tell a scammer in such an instance? It’s easy. It’s all a deception.

In this case, the scammers’ goal is simple: the user pays them the announced amount in exchange for unique ideas for instant income. The maximum that a person will receive is some information copied from the Internet that does not have any value. Another option implies that the “magic people who would transform your life” disappear with the stolen money. 

Even though such a risk may be attractive, you should refuse it, choose certified educational programs and spend some time learning the new subject that will eventually bring profits.


How to Identify a Scammer on the Phone?

At first glance, it might seem that the fraudulent schemes are so evident that nobody can be deceived. However, this is not the case since multiple people become their victims daily. Scammers are becoming more and more inventive, and even the most educated and attentive people can fall for their tricks. However, there are several obvious ways to verify the caller:

  1. Ask a lot of questions. As a rule, scammers rely on the scary effect and instant victims’ acts, so do not come up with a backup plan if you ask them something.
  2. Say that you need time to think over the proposals. Official legal organizations that call you with offers will accept your answer and call back later or wait for your feedback. At the same time, scammers will insist on an immediate money transfer.
  3. Check the information about who is actually calling or texting you. Nowadays, it is enough to enter a phone number in the search engine to understand it. Of course, Google will not give out all the person’s contact details, but the reviews will show whether it’s a scam user.
  4. If you get a call from a bank or financial institution whose services you use, say that you will call them back in a minute. And find the official contact details to keep in touch with them and ensure everything’s fine with your account and cards.

Phone fraud is still one of the most common ways to extort funds from citizens. However, deceptions have become even more sophisticated with the Internet and social network development. Always remember that you must not follow third-party links, so double-check the websites you are going to visit. Beware of even those sent to you by your loved ones because their accounts can be hacked. 

By the way, this is also a popular money theft scheme. Just imagine a close friend texting you and asking to borrow money for a few days. And you just give them the necessary sum without even thinking that their page can be hacked. If your friend or close person does not usually lend money, call them back and check if they really texted you.


It is especially difficult not to fall for the bait of scammers if you are in a foreign country with a new language environment. You can often make a mistake that can cost you things or money without knowing the rules and laws in other regions. So, learning more about possible dangerous situations and the most common telephone scammer phrases is vital. Unfortunately, well-known dictionaries like Merriam-Webster do not always become loyal assistants in this issue.

Promova online school can become your loyal assistant and help in any situation. Our professional tutors are always ready to teach you the most necessary details to understand native speakers better. We will do everything for you to strengthen your English knowledge and feel safe wherever you are. Check the available courses and pick those you like most. Moreover, we can develop a personal educational plan so that you will get everything you need in one place.


What are the widespread phases used by fraudsters online or by phone?

Most of them use the "do it now; otherwise, it will be bad for you" technique. Urgently pay a fine, or there will be a court, transfer money, or we will block your account, and so on. Scammers rely on the fact that their victims will be frightened and go on about.

How to tell if you’re talking to a scammer?

Overall, it’s not so difficult if you can keep a cool head and avoid panic. Just think over the subject and evaluate whether the information you’ve heard from the caller can be true. After that, think about what you can do to check all the details: contact the bank or call your relatives to ensure that there are no threats. 

Are phone calls the only way for fraudsters to steal money?

Unfortunately, no. Quick technological advancement and digitalization gave birth to many social media and messengers scams. However, the deception principles remain typical, so it’s critical to be attentive to details.

What to do if I become a scammers’ victim?

You might be really disappointed with this issue, but hardly anything can be done in such situations. Of course, there’s always the possibility of contacting the police. However, fraudulent schemes usually work in such a way that a person willingly sends money to a scammer, so it’s challenging to track everything. Just consider all the abovementioned tips to avoid problematic issues in the future.


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PromovaOct 11th, 2023
Reporting suspected scams is essential. In the U.S., for instance, individuals can report scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at Many countries have similar reporting mechanisms. Reporting scams helps authorities investigate and take action against scammers.
Ali HansonOct 11th, 2023
How can someone report a suspected scam, as mentioned in the article?
PromovaJul 13th, 2023
Great question! Yes, the article mentions several red flags and warning signs that can help identify a scammer and prevent financial losses. These include overly aggressive or urgent language, requests for personal or financial information, unsolicited offers or prizes, and requests for payment through unconventional methods. It is important to stay vigilant and recognize these signs to protect oneself from potential scams.
Nataly VegaJul 13th, 2023
Hi!Are there any specific red flags or warning signs mentioned in the article that can help us quickly identify a scammer and prevent financial losses?