Watch CBS News

How To Effectively Deal With Scammers

BOSTON (CBS) - Here are some guidelines from the FTC when dealing with a possible scammer on the phone:

How To Effectively Deal With Scammers

Before we even review their list my advice would be to just hang up, or better still if you don't recognize a number on caller ID let it go to voice mail. Then you can just ignore the call and not have to hang up.

  • Resist pressure to make a decision immediately.
  • Keep your credit card, checking account, and Social Security numbers to yourself. Don't give them out to callers you don't know — even if they ask you to "confirm" this information. That's a trick that is often used not only by callers but in phishing e-mails as well.
  • Don't pay for something just because you'll get a "free gift".
  • Get all information in writing before you agree to buy.
  • Check out a charity before you give. Ask how much of your donation actually goes to the charity. Ask the caller to send you written informa­tion so you can make an informed decision without being pressured into giving immediately. Don't be fooled by names of charities that are similar to legitimate charities.
  • Don't send cash by messenger, overnight mail, or money transfer. If you use cash or a money transfer — rather than a credit card — you may lose your right to dispute fraudulent charges. The money will be gone.
  • Don't agree to any offer for which you have to pay a "registration", "tax", or "shipping" fee to get a prize or a gift.
  • Research offers with the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Agency or the Attorney General's office before you agree to send money.
  • Beware of offers to "help" you recover money you have already lost. Callers that say they are law enforcement officers who will help you get your money back "for a fee" are scammers.
  • Report any caller who is rude or abusive, even if you already sent them money. They'll want more. Call 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit gov/complaint.
  • If the offer is an investment, check with the state securities regulator to see if the offer was properly registered. Most brokers don't make cold calls selling investments.


You can hear Dee Lee's expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee's Money Matters newsletter here.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.