Phone scams cause thousands of people lose money — from a few dollars to their life savings — every year.
Scammers will say anything to cheat people out of money. Some seem very friendly — calling you by your first name, making small talk, and asking about your family. They may claim to work for a company you trust, or they may send mail or place ads to convince you to call them.
If you get a call from someone you don’t know who is trying to sell you something you hadn’t planned to buy, say “No thanks” and hang up. Never, ever give out any personal information over the phone, unless you initiated the call yourself.
If the caller pressures you about giving up personal information — like your credit card or Social Security number — it’s likely a scam. Hang up and report it to the Federal Trade Commission.
Getting a call from a debt collector can be stressful. But it can be downright frightening when the caller uses lies, profanity and threats to try to get you to pay. In a case announced today, the FTC says a debt collection operation in Charlotte, NC pretended to be lawyers. Really, they were not lawyers and had no authority to collect debts.
Scammers are using fake caller ID information to trick you into thinking they’re someone who can be trusted. The practice is called caller ID spoofing, and scammers can fake anyone’s phone number.
Ring, ring. “This is Equifax calling to verify your account information.” Stop. Don’t tell them anything. They’re not from Equifax. It’s a scam. Equifax will not call you out of the blue. That’s just one scam you might see after Equifax’s recent data breach.