Scammers use technology extensively through false email messages, fake pop-up windows, malicious website links, and fraudulent phone calls on both landline and mobile devices.

The scams involve quick cash, stealing your medical identity and most have a sense of urgency. When it involves financial solutions immediately, you should be suspicious.

These can include calls or emails requiring you to act now to collect a prize, avoid a fine or jail, or save someone from a dire situation – always step back before acting. If a pressing need involves money, chances are it’s a scam.

How to fight back on your phone?

DO register your phone number with the DO NOT CALL REGISTRY at https://www.donotcall.gov/ or 888-382-1222. This service will not block scammers, but legitimate telemarketers will stop calling within a month. I have found you have to do this yearly.

DON’T answer unrecognized calls unless you’re expecting a call from an unknown number.  Let the call go to voicemail, then review the message. Most con artists will hang up before leaving a message.

DO independently verify facts from any callers asking for money or sensitive personal information.

DON’T share private information in social media posts that may be useful for imposter scams, including phone numbers, home addresses, and names of relatives. (Also, don’t accept unknown friend requests and keep your account settings private.)

DO be wary of government imposters. Officials from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, Medicare, and other government agencies will never call you unless you contact them first or they’ve sent mail correspondence explaining a situation that requires your attention.

DON’T say “yes” to an unknown caller.  Scammers may be trying to obtain a recording of your voice, which can be used to verify approval of charges to your phone, cable, or internet bill or a credit card. If you sense something sketchy, hang up quickly.

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