Watch CBS News

Recognizing and avoiding scammers who target you through your cell phone

Spotting the scammers
Spotting the scammers 01:54

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- It seems like a week doesn't go by without a new scam surfacing. 

It used to be they would hit your email, but now the most common way scammers try and target individuals is through their cell phone.

If you have a pulse, a phone, and a dollar in your pocket, you're a potential target.

Scammers are always looking for soft spots to make their way into people's wallets.

The Federal Trade Commission says the most common tactics used are through promises and threats.

Scammers will say you've won something or been selected for an offer, or come at you in a threatening manner, like claiming they're from the IRS or from Social Security and say that an account has been compromised.

The FTC says to remember red flags, like recalling that government agencies don't call individuals, and it's a major red flag if you've been asked to pay for something with gift cards.

The FTC also says you should never click on a link, never volunteer information if a scammer calls you, and if you don't know the number don't answer.

There are scammers and solicitors, and the FTC says the best way to reduce the solicitors is to register your phone number on the 'Do Not Call' registry.

Ultimately, whether it's a scammer or a solicitor, once you realize it, just hang up the phone. 

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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.