We’ve all gotten calls from strangers claiming to be from the IRS or a “free” vacation. But how can you tell if a call is really a scam?
Sample Scam Calls
AARP has recently released a report detailing seven calls that they logged on their Fraud Watch Network Helpline. Reading through these examples can help you learn more about the ways that scammers try to trick people.
Here’s a few of their examples:
- Medicare number requests: Be very careful about giving away your Medicare number. Scammers will often call pretending to be from Medicare and say that you need to verify your number for tests or benefits.
- IRS imposters: These scammers will call and say that you owe money to the IRS and need to pay immediately or face consequences. They may even threaten to arrest you if you don’t pay.
- Energy companies: Scammers will sometimes call pretending to be from an energy company like Con Edison or PSE&G. They’ll say that you need to pay your bill immediately or your service will be shut off.
As you read through these examples, see if you can spot the red flags. Was the caller asking for personal information? Were they threatening you with arrest or disconnection?
If you get a call like this, don’t panic. Hang up right away and report it to the FTC or your local police department. And remember, you can always say no to unsolicited calls.
What are some other red flags that you’ve spotted in scam calls? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!