More phone scams, who’s targeted now and who’s paying?

How many times can you hear about a scam that starts when someone calls your landline or cell phone? Apparently a lot, since the number of scams is increasing along with the money that crooks have taken from consumers.

The loss in 2016 is estimated at about $10 Billion, according to a survey done by TrueCaller, which offers apps to screen out spam callers.  “One in ten U-S adults is losing on average over $400 every year,” Tom Hsieh from TrueCaller recently told NBC.

The company’s survey also showed information that may surprise many of you and that is that scams are not just for your grandparents anymore. Apparently, tech savvy Millennials are more likely to share information over the phone. “And this is because Millennials spend most of their waking hours on the phone and are a lot more accustomed to sharing information and making payments online or on the phone,” said Hsieh.

Tom Stephens from the Better Business Bureau says it may be annoying but you really need to screen your calls and don’t be afraid to hang up or simply to not answer in the first place. “The surest way is to not answer your phone,” he says. “Let it go to voicemail or your answering machine and then you can call them back if you want to.”

The Better Business Bureau has this advice for grandparents, their grandkids and all of us in between.

1) Don’t answer your phone if you don’t recognize the number

2) Many of these are computer generated robocalls so it’s not like a person will leave you a message

3) But even if you do get a message from a person or a recorded message, think carefully about what is being said and if you believe the call is legitimate. You may often decide it’s not and then you won’t call back.

4) Pre-recorded calls often talk about someone missing jury duty and owing a fine or someone owing the Internal Revenue Service and having to pay over the phone. These calls are fakes and no government agency will ever ask you to pay over the telephone.

5) Never give anyone personal information over the telephone

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