Tips to avoid phone scams

Be cautious about answering calls from unknown numbers or callers. If you do answer a call and the caller or subject seem suspicious, hang up.

If you answer the phone and are asked to press a button to stop receiving these calls, hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.

Don’t respond to the caller, even to say “yes” or “no.”

If you get an unexpected call from someone claiming to represent a company or government agency, hang up and call the number found on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company or agency’s official website to verify the authenticity of the request. Do not call the number provided to you by the caller.

Never give out personal information including account numbers, social security numbers, mother’s maiden name, passwords, birth date or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls.

Talk to your phone company about call blocking tools or check into apps for your mobile device to block unwanted calls. Some tools available through your service provider, as well as apps you can download, have fees associated with the service, so do your research.

Don't sign up for prizes (like the car you could win at fairs, tradeshows or expos) without reading the fine print. The fine print often gives permission for telemarketing or other companies to contact you despite being on the Do Not Call Registry. For more information on how to protect yourself from unwanted telemarketing calls, review the rules and guidelines for the Do Not Call Registry.