Chances are, if you have a phone, you’ve picked up only to hear an unfamiliar voice on the other end of the line. But if you’ve ever gotten a call from someone asking for money or telling you that you owe money, chances are you’ve gotten a spam call. Some robocalls are helpful reminders for things like appointments or prescription pickups. However, some of them are harmful scams that you shouldn’t answer. Here’s how to tell which calls are scams, and what to do when you receive them.
While these calls are meant to make you panic, it’s important to remain calm. It’s even more important not to give out any personal information. Never give out your date of birth or Social Security number over the phone UNLESS you have verified who you are speaking to.
If you receive any of these types of calls, it’s perfectly okay to hang up. It’s okay to feel anxious because of a scam call. However, one thing that can help is independently verifying the information. A quick phone call can easily help you make sure your family members or loved ones are safe. You can also dial the number on your utility bills to make sure you don’t owe an outstanding balance.
One other thing to remember is that utility companies and the IRS will not call you without notifying you about unpaid taxes or late payments by mail. Most companies will also give you a choice of how to pay your bill—they won’t demand a money order or prepaid debit card. If you owe money to the IRS, they give you a chance to dispute or question it.