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Monday, January 29, 2024

9 Most Common Scams and How to Spot Them

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Phone scams have been around for a while, but they continue to happen at high rates. Many other types of scams on this list involve calls from scam phone numbers.

What does a phone scam look like? A phone scammer may pose as a bank representative, debt collector, government official, police officer, or other authority figure. During the call, they’ll use their invented position of power to intimidate you into sending money or handing over personal information, like your Social Security or credit card number.

Similarly, scammers may pose as a business or charity offering freebies or requesting donations. 

Scammers also send texts with suspicious links. Clicking those links may take you to a website encouraging you to enter sensitive information to continue.

How to avoid phone scams

While memorizing the area codes of common scam phone numbers used to be a viable move,1 scammers can now make any number appear on your caller ID. Instead, don’t pick up calls from unknown numbers. Listen to the voicemail (if they leave one), and do your due diligence before calling back.

In general, never share personal information until you can verify that the caller is legitimate. Look up the official business or government department online and call the listed number to verify the validity of the original call.

Tired of scam phone calls? Add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry at www.donotcall.gov or by calling 888-382-1222.


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