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Self-defense against scams

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To everyone who hangs up on unwanted calls, learns about the latest scams, and checks with friends about suspicious offers: good news! People who did all those things were less likely to lose money to a scam than people who didn’t, according to Exposed to Scams: What Separates Victims from Non-Victims?, a report from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, and the Stanford Center on Longevity. The groups surveyed more than 1,400 people who had reported a scam and found several differences between people who did and didn’t lose money. The people who avoided scams:

  • Didn’t engage with a scam offer. Nearly half the people surveyed said they had ignored emails, thrown away mailers, and deleted friend requests. They had also hung up on bogus tax and debt collection calls, and imposter phishing scams.
  • Learned about scams and scammers’ tactics. People who knew more about specific scams and scammers’ tactics were more likely to reject an offer and avoid losing money. News stories were the top way to get information about frauds and scams for the majority of people surveyed.
  • Talked to someone. The people who had someone to talk with about the offers were less likely to lose money. Some people who were caught up in scams were helped by store cashiers, bank tellers, or wire transfer employees who talked them out of sending money. Sometimes sharing what you know can help protect someone you know from a scam.

The FTC has resources to support you — and people you care about — avoid scams. Sign up to get email updates about recent scams. Order free publications to read and share in your community at And please, if you spot a scam, report it at By reporting fraud, you can help the FTC identify scammers.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I can't tell you how much articles like this help the average person! Please keep them coming. You should also publish the website where one can send scam sites for investigation. Thanks!!

If I don't recognize a number, I won't pick it up. If i don't recognize an email; I say "Move to Junk". This blocks the sender from sending any further emails. I have never been scammed and I think it's because I screen my emails and calls so well.

If I accidently answer the phone, I hang up as soon as the voice says "Press a Button"

I have suggested my friends sign up for your website to keep informed.

I found with my answering message - I changed it from "hello" to "you have reached - my phone number" most of the time robocallers/scammers/ etc. hang up & do not leave a (stupid) message.

I have been emailed fake amazon, Walmart and capital one emails using these letter head and more.

I've lost around $30,000.00 to a 'company' saying they were 'Microsoft Windows'. they swear up and down that they are legit but all they are is liars, cheats and scammers. No matter what my money is gone and there isn't a darned thing that can be done about it. Makes no difference who I have reported it to as nothing will fix this. If a person, like myself, is a fool and gets took by these people, too bad as you, like me, have been had period. I worked for 29.5 to 30 years and then fall for this allowing others to live a good life or whatever they do with the money while I get nothing.

I was almost scammed : thank you "Jesus" when I went to Walmart to purchase cards to put the money on; the customer service employee started asking questions and I then did some thinking and did not purchase the cards thus loosing the money that was asked of me.

I have since purchased a call blocker and have blocked over 900 unwanted calls. I do not answer any call when I don't know the caller.

You want us to report fraud or scs to you, but do you ever do anything about it? I mean for over a year I've been reporting things over and over and nothing happens! My life has just been ruined and my money stolen! I'm starting to think that this is a scam along with the governments!

They also steal our time and attention and peace of mind. I find my self closing down and being less available to the rest of the world. I do not like who I am becoming,

Thanks again

Thank you so much for your commitment to helping others. I am always excited to get the newest information you offer to me. I am 73 and it helps me so much. I do appreciate this organization so very much.

Got 4 phone calls from this number in Texas 512 996 7105 claimed they were social security administration to inform me that my SSN has been suspended and the arrest warant was issued in my name. They wanted me to press 1 to talk to an officer.

I've gotten this one several times. I asked when they were coming so I could put in my lipstick for the "perp walk".

I have my home phone through my cable company. I found I can block all telephone numbers except those I have on a list that will ring through. Everyone else gets a recording and has the option to leave a message. It's a little difficult at first to create the list of accepted numbers since they are limited. But it saves getting a lot of calls. I just delete the unwanted calls on the my cell phone and leave it off most of the time.

y answering machine I left this message, I do not answer numbers I do not know, so if this call is important, leave a message and I will call you back. I find most of the time they do not leave a message

If I don't know the phone number I don't answer the phone. If get emails that I know are scams I delete them. There's one about Microsoft finding a problem or something. Forgot what it was but knew it was a scam so posted a warning about them on my Facebook page.

A well-informed consumer is any scammer or grifter's worst enemy. sometimes you just have to be your own advocate.

It's so easy to avoid a phone scam! All you need is a phone system where you add information into it that contains the phone number and name ID of the relative, neighbor, friends, business, doctors and other businesses or entities with whom you contact. The key rule her is "You Contact. The phone will then show the contact name if legit, if not, it shows only a number. The phone should also be connected to an answering device which announces that we will totally ignore their call if they are unknown to us. Most times they will hang up after hearing the message. If it's some kind of law enforcement calling , or some other entity we have not tried to contact, then we will return the call using a phone number that we have looked up, not the number given us in the message.

As far as on-line is concerned, email, etc.; the same basic rule applies. We will always look for you, not the other way around!

I accepted a friend request on FB last February 2018. I knew within minutes it was a scam, I kept him hooked for 3 months, before he asked for money. I told my daughter that while I went along with his BS, he was leaving a poor naive woman alone. Scammers on FB, won’t have pictures, friends, or posts. Do Not accept any friendship like this, it will only end badly

Knowing about a scam is very good news, plus knowing someone who spots a scam, discussing the ins and outs about the scam is good to know.

Avoidcalls about Publisher's Clearing House winnings. It cost us thousands of dollars.

The strangest, creepiest incident happened last week. I was contacted by a scammer who called using my own phone number.
He argued with me insisting it wasn’t my number. Next day he called again and said his supervisor said it wasn’t my number
Told him not to call again or I would report them to the FCC and the police. I don’t want to block the call because my own phone number will be blocked. It gets crazier every day.

I also received a call from my own phone number. I didn't answer since I had read of scammers using random phone numbers generated to look like a local caller. It sure does give you a creepy feeling though!

I read about all the scams you report on. I feel very empowered to hang-up, delete and discuss with friends about the scams. I appreciate the knowledge you give your readers and how much it helps us.
Thank you.

Keep the articles coming.. Great info... Now, I suggest more prosecutions by authorities to permanently remove these exchanges: 1. from entry into US; 2. provide individual tracking programs to law abiding US consumers that will disable spam callers devices... (I know this technology exists because I had one installed on a previous PC years ago and it would ping unsolicited sites)

I had met someone on silver singles. And we were chatting online on the site for 2 months and then started texting a month later . Do it’s been almost 5 months now and we started to talk on the phone and was going to ginslkt meet in person. Well it never happened because he said he has been a project analyst for 25 years and wife passed 2012 and has a 16 yr old son moved from Norway to New Mexico. Anyway he had said that h has been looking to be self employed with his type of work and he finally got one where it’s at Jarkata Indonesia. Well of course we never met and He there now and supposedly back in 2 weeks so anyway he was transferring funds from international Berger bank that’s In Norway and supposedly his account got Suspended and stated he needed another $5000 for some cement bags for his project to get complete and asking me to get a loan to help him out . I told him I don’t deal with anyones funds and get loans for people I never met . this is your business not mine and I’m not responsible for your transactions. I told him if I wasn’t on this planet you would need to figure it out. He then started saying I’m a liar and acting like a child. I said no just being honest. How can you ask someone you never met get you funds when it’s your business. I said sorry you got the wrong party . You said you have a housekeeper you know for a very longtime contact that person to help you. He also said I will find you. Whatever and he hung up. So he is blocked and he was calling on my phone it said UNKNOWN. you can block that on you phone. Just go to your contacts and add the word UnKnown on first and last name and block caller. Just FYI for everyone.

I have an app that screens call for me. All Robo calls are answered by my "robot" or disconnected. Not really sure how this happens, but I am grateful. Occasionally I will pick up the phone by accident and a human will start out with, after confirming my name, "We have been getting signals about serious problems on your com." I hung up without letting him finish. I have had a couple of interactions with scammers. One guy was going to drop off an expensive car at my home, told me not to share the information with anyone else. I said I would talk to my son which the scammer did not like. I told him I would call him back but I never did. He tried to reach me several times by phone, but I refused to answer. I think I was bored and wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine. Another man wanted to send me a large sum of money. I refused. Said I had enough money. He was insistent on sending the money to me but I had to advance a small sum first. I told him just deduct it from the large sum which he was unable to do. He called me three times. At the third call I told him I was aware he was a scammer and to never call me again. Another time a kid calling me grandma tried to get me to give him money. Honestly, I thought this was the truth; however, I told him I would talk to his father. He hung up. Then the Robot cleanser entered my life. No more scammer calls.

This is the latest scam number 410-618-0535

Got 2 calls from Area code 214.Dallas Tx.Ignore them block calls on cell. These people are losers.

I suspect that PCs that are refurbished some of them already come with a fake Microsoft and they always insist to use their web browser or push you to buy their products.
In the past, I already bought a Microsoft word that had the registration number I put it on. They didn't accept it.

Just got 3 calls today within 1 hour. The first from "Los Angeles" # 310-684-3568. The next 2 from "San Marcos" #760-290-7156. All leaving automated voice mgs for action filed on my SS# due to fraudulent activity and to call them back before legal proceedings begin.

Last week I was hit-up by 4 different names for men on Pinterest, only 1 has not asked for money.
1 has moved on, he used the UN Vacation Scam on hangouts, 1 is living on an elaborate looking Rig-he’s only asked for cards so far and he calls me (his voice sounds nothing like the picture he sent should sound)-he uses WhatsApp Business.
3rd one is hilarious, would love for him to be real, lives on a ship, he’s sent his luggage to me right before they were robbed by pirates-now the Indonesian Customs wants me to pay $2000-we communicate through WhatsApp Personal Account.
4th man, has never asked for money, looks a lot older and I’m afraid he might get scammed himself. Looks can be deceiving I realize but he really does seem to just want a friend to talk puppies with! I have lots of details if FTC or IC3 is interested!

Amen and thank you for your good work~~keep it coming~~

Scammed again, caller said we were being sued and sent to collection, Ugh. So glad I am now a member! Thanks

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