Feel the Urge to “Scam” the Scammers?

Scammer phone calls are so frequent, so malicious and SO IRRITATING (when you are able to identify the caller as a scammer) that it’s tempting to play along and “mess with their heads.” A Fraud Watch article in the July/August issue of the AARP Bulletin* advises that you bridle that urge and just hang up.
Your first priority should be to protect yourself. Staying on the phone with a scammer for more than a few seconds is risky for several reasons. AARP points out that scammers are pros and know how to fish for bits of useful information about you: your age, birthdate, whether you have a computer, and other personal information. Some use a dialing system that tracks the length of conversations and tags you as a “top target” if you stay on the phone with the scammer. That results in many more calls to your number – and a lot more irritation and risk for you. AARP’s advice is not to answer the phone unless you know who is calling, and if you do pick up and it’s a scammer, hang up.

*For questions related to scams, you can call the AARP Fraud Watch Network helpline toll-free at 877-908-3360.