Last Monday, it was reported that the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has received a large number of reports from throughout the county about several familiar phone scams being conducted in the past several weeks. Telemarketing fraud is considered as a disease of the modern age, accounting for 19 percent of all fraud complaints reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2010. Here are some ways on how to protect yourself from Scammers.

5. Let me Give you a Call. 

Once the callers got so persistent that they insist on having to speak with you and they are telling you that they were from your bank or any other companies, ask for a callback number, but do not use it to call them. It will be safer to look up for the number of the said company via yellow pages or on the Internet. If they were from the company that you are doing business already, their number will definitely on the monthly billing statement.

4. Put me on the Do Not Call List.

 Since you don't have any ways on how to confirm if the phone call is legit, asks the caller to put you on their do not call list. Ignore the sales pitches and pleas of uninvited calls. A caller ID is not even reliable. It can be faked too.

3. Think about it. 

Rushing things out is what scammers are expertly made of. If there is a need for you to decide things right at the moment you are talking to them, and you are feeling pressured, hang up. You deserve more time to decide properly.

2. Zip Up. 

Your information is what they are after too. And the best way to knock them down is to provide them with nothing. If they want to confirm who you are, disregard it, once they ask if anyone's home, don't reply. And lastly, if they would want to verify your address, hang up. A piece of information even your name can be used against you, whether it is for your money or otherwise harm you.

1. Stay Alert. 

Any personal or financial information that you will give over the phone can be used to scam you. Before doing so, check the company's credentials, ask them to email you all the information first, have a look at the company's website and ask for references.

Being Vigilant certainly pays off.

Phone scams can be reported by calling the Federal Trade Commission toll-free at 877-382-4357 or visiting phone scams can be reported by calling the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration toll-free at 800-366-4484 or visiting