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Information Literacy: Be Savvy about your Sources: Beware of Scams!

Information-savvy: Having a shrewd understanding of how to deal with information. "Information Competency" or "Information Fluency"

DEFENSE: Block

Look into call blocking tools and apps from your provider. Robocall-blocking technology often helps to let that company know which numbers are producing unwanted calls so they can help block those calls for you and others.

Several mobile service providers allow you to block the sender by forwarding unwanted texts to 7726 (or "SPAM"). Check with your provider about options.

If you do not make international calls, ask your phone company to block outgoing international calls on your line.

If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set up a password for your voice mail. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.

When in doubt: Don't respond; hang up!

Let it go to voicemail.You are not obligated to answer the phone!  If it is really important, they will leave a message.

Avoid answering an unknown number or calling one back. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
Before calling unfamiliar numbers, check to see if the area code is international. 
Check to see if there are warnings about the phone number online.
Don't respond. If a caller - or a recording - asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.

Wait! Don't answer until 4th ring.

Don't give personal information (such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information) unless you initiate the call.

Don't answer call until 4th ring. Always be cautious. Caller ID showing a "local" number does not necessarily mean it is a local caller.  

Verify

If you get an inquiry or threat from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up. Find and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company's or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.

Guard your Personal Information

Avoid giving your mobile or other phone number to any business or website. Read through commercial web forms and check for a privacy policy before signing up or down-loading or running, or installing anything. You should be able to opt out of receiving texts – but you may have to check or uncheck a pre-selected box to do so.

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