I have a very strict rule for myself.  If I do not recognize the phone number calling me, I do not answer the call.  We do not have a landline anymore, so if someone needs to call me, it has to be on my cell phone.  Now I know people say, well, back in the day before caller ID we just answered and never knew who was calling. Times are different now folks.  People are getting brilliant at scamming people via phone.

One phone scam that I probably post too much about on Facebook is the fact that the IRS will NOT call you regarding taxes owed or any other issue.  They will send you a paper notice in the mail.  There won’t be emails or phone calls.  Good old fashioned paper notices that are usually four to six pages long is their way of contacting you.  If the caller claims to be from the IRS they are lying their butts off. Hang up. DO NOT give them any personal information or “verify” information. The IRS is not going to sue you and you cannot pay your taxes with gift cards from Best Buy.

Another phone scam I have heard about recently is that a local number calls you. It starts as a robo-call (computer voice) and they ask “Can you hear me?”. When you reply yes, this is recorded, and is used at some other point to authorize purchases that you do not make.   However, they have you recorded saying yes, and they use it against you. These scammers generally have already hacked some of your other information elsewhere such as your credit card info.What a scam.

I haven’t heard as much about this scam lately, but I do know it comes around every so often.  The caller claims to be taking donations for the fire or police association. What is really sad is that there is a true charity like this, but you have no idea who you are talking to on the other end.  God only knows who you are giving your credit card info to.  I do not take those calls either.  Our local fire departments do a boot fundraiser.  Fire fighters stand at major intersections with their boots and take donations for Fill the Boot.  The money is donated to various charities.  Now that is a fund raiser I like!

Please answer your phone with caution. Please do not fall for these scammers.  It is hard to fix the issues when you are scammed.  I think, in MY opinion, that the easiest way to prevent it is to just not answer your phone unless you know who is calling. If the call is important, the caller can leave a message. Please be careful.

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