Phone scams are on the rise according to the Attorney General Office and local law enforcement. Common scams involve vehicle warranty, credit card refinance offers and contest winnings among others.

One new trick being used in our area is Phone Spoofing, this is when the callers number transmits a local number to your mobile device making you think it’s a local or familiar call making you more likely to answer the call. In most cases a recording will ask you to choose a prompt to speak with an operator or choose another to be removed from their list. Unfortunately if you choose the prompt to be removed there is no guarantee you will be.

Most cell phones have the option to block numbers, this is by far the best action to ensure this number never calls your phone again. If you do choose the prompt to speak with an operator, do not give them an personal information. Also, one way to confirm this is a scam, ask for a call back number. You’ll soon see the number that called you can’t be reached and the operator can’t give you a good number to call back. This should set off red flags for most.

Calls offering better interest rates, debt refinancing, etc. are especially dangerous. The caller is simply trying to retract information from you. Do not give any personal information. Ask yourself this: How does a company know what your debt or current interest rate? They don’t, they are phishing for information they don’t have. Your credit card company doesn’t have to ask these questions because they already have this information and only have to do security checks.

Car warranty calls are among the worst. These scammers are trying to sell you warranties that simply do not exist. They are once again trying to gain personal information and access to your banking accounts. Most who buy these so call warranties soon get numerous fraudulent charges on their debit or credit cards. Once again don’t give personal information over the phone.

Contest winnings are another common way in our area to attempt to scam money or information from people. The scammer ask you pay a processing fee in order to retrieve your prize. This again is a scam, no legitimate contest needs your banking information or personal information to process your winnings, especially over the phone.

These types of crimes can be reported to local law enforcement but don’t expect much for results, a vast majority of these scams are out of country and simply can’t be traced.

These scammers prey on the elderly, it’s a good idea to instruct elderly family members not to answer these calls, block them on their devices and never give out any personal information. Another way to avoid this is not to answer calls that are not in your directory, any legitimate calls will leave a voicemail with a call back number.