Whether it's a phone scam, Internet scam, or some other type of scam, you need to know how to protect yourself.
One way to protect yourself: Don't give out any information.
One way to protect others: Stay on the phone and ask a lot of questions. Here's a few that I like to ask. These are used for those special people that call my personal phone number (that's on the National Do Not Call Registry).
- What's the weather like where you are? Then go on to talk about the wonderful conditions where I live. It's a great opportunity to sell them on your area.
- Where are you calling from? If they can't tell me that because of "security reasons", I press them by asking "If I guess it right, will you tell me if I get it?"
- Do you like your job? How long have you been in your current position? How can I get a job application?
I know people suggest hanging up right away. But think about it. The goal for a phone scammer (I'm not saying telemarketer. Many telemarketers are legitimate no matter how much you don't like them.) is to quickly find a victim. By preventing them from making another call, you can save effectively delay their feast. You might even save the world! :-)
If you're looking for "authorized" and practical measures of thwarting evil in this world, check these out:
- Register your phone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry
- File a complaint with the FTC
- Review the FTC's advice about Consumer Fraud Against the Elderly
- Learn more from sites like ScamBusters
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