Don’t assume you’ll never be targeted by phone scammers just because you don’t have a cell phone; they continue to feast on landline users, especially those over 50.
“This is the IRS…”
- Drill this into your head: The IRS never calls to collect back taxes. NEVER.
- A common ploy is to threaten that the listener will go to prison if they don’t pay up immediately.
- If you really do owe taxes, the IRS will contact you alright—but via snail mail, not a phone call, text or e-mail.
- Scam calls may also sound professional with no threats, and may be a pre-recorded woman’s voice.
- Scammers can make the caller ID show “IRS.”
Charities and Fundraisers
- A call comes from the fraudster, claiming he represents a charity and wants your donation. The con artist may even say he’s with the local police department.
- Want to help mankind? Hang up on the caller and give to a reputable foundation or give out homemade sack lunches to the homeless.
- Go online and search the organization in question to verify they’re legit.
- If the call has an automated message, hang up immediately.
- A legitimate organization will not request your Social Security number or personal financial information.
“You’ve won a prize!”
- No, you haven’t. These are scams; hang up.
Tech support never calls you…
- You must call them first. So if you get a call from “tech support” asking for personal information, it’s a scam. Geek squads don’t just up and call people.
- A call about installing an update is a scam.
- Scammers can make the caller ID show “Microsoft.”
“Hi Grandma, it’s your favorite grandson!”
- If relatives call asking for money, hang up and call them to verify that said caller is really your relative.
Avoiding Scam Calls
- Must you answer the phone every time it rings? It’s perfectly legal to ignore a ringing phone.
- If your phone has caller block, input numbers from suspected scammers. Next time they call, there’ll be barely one ring, then the caller will be blocked.