Despite the focus of scams on the internet, scams over the telephone are having a resurgence, particularly among older Americans. It is important to remember that even if you have listed your phone on the federal Do Not Call List to prevent telemarketers from contacting you, scammers don’t pay much attention to the Do Not Call List. Common phone scams involve phony contests or lotteries or solicitations from phony charities. It is also important to remember that legitimate charities are allowed to call you even if you are on the Do Not Call List. Many people have been scammed out of money or become the victims of identity theft by giving scammers personal financial or identifying information on the phone.
Never give personal information on the phone to someone who calls you. You can never be sure they are legitimate even if you have caller ID. As for contests, it is difficult enough to win a contest that you have entered. It is impossible to win one that you have not entered . If you get a call from anyone that purports to be a legitimate organization with which you do business, such as a bank, don’t give the caller any information, but rather call the real institution at a telephone number that you know is accurate if you have any questions.