Scammers are dishonest people wanting to steal your money. They’re very good at making you believe something terrible has happened to a family member, your insurance has run out, or your computer programs are going to fail unless you take immediate action.

You must be aware of these scams and protect yourself at all times. Here are a few tips on how to recognize a phone scam and what to do in that situation:

The call will show up as an unidentified number on your caller id. Don’t pick up the phone. If it’s an important call, they will leave you a message.

If a number appears on your caller id that you’re not familiar with, let it go to voice mail. You can then call the number back. If the number is not available then chances are it was a scammer.

Scammers usually talk very fast. Ask them to repeat themselves. This will usually frustrate them, and you’ll be able to tell it in their voice.

Ask for a call-back number or mailing address. Scammers won’t want to give you this information and will try to pressure you into giving them your information over the phone.

Scammers like to use the words: your family member is in trouble, you’ll get a free bonus, or you’ve won money in a foreign lottery. First, if your family member has been in an accident, then you’ll most likely receive a phone call from another family member or the police will show up at your door. Second, nothing in life is free: especially, if the scammer asks you to send them money so that you can receive your money.

We ask that you assess the situation very carefully, and don’t be afraid to question the person on the other end of the phone. In reality, the best thing to do in any of these situations is to simply hang up.