BOSTON (CBS) – Here are some guidelines from the FTC when dealing with a possible scammer on the phone:

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Before we even review their list my advice would be to just hang up, or better still if you don’t recognize a number on caller ID let it go to voice mail. Then you can just ignore the call and not have to hang up.

  • Resist pressure to make a decision immediately.
  • Keep your credit card, checking account, and Social Security numbers to yourself. Don’t give them out to callers you don’t know — even if they ask you to “confirm” this information. That’s a trick that is often used not only by callers but in phishing e-mails as well.
  • Don’t pay for something just because you’ll get a “free gift”.
  • Get all information in writing before you agree to buy.
  • Check out a charity before you give. Ask how much of your donation actually goes to the charity. Ask the caller to send you written informa­tion so you can make an informed decision without being pressured into giving immediately. Don’t be fooled by names of charities that are similar to legitimate charities.
  • Don’t send cash by messenger, overnight mail, or money transfer. If you use cash or a money transfer — rather than a credit card — you may lose your right to dispute fraudulent charges. The money will be gone.
  • Don’t agree to any offer for which you have to pay a “registration”, “tax”, or “shipping” fee to get a prize or a gift.
  • Research offers with the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Agency or the Attorney General’s office before you agree to send money.
  • Beware of offers to “help” you recover money you have already lost. Callers that say they are law enforcement officers who will help you get your money back “for a fee” are scammers.
  • Report any caller who is rude or abusive, even if you already sent them money. They’ll want more. Call 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit gov/complaint.
  • If the offer is an investment, check with the state securities regulator to see if the offer was properly registered. Most brokers don’t make cold calls selling investments.
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You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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