Last December, the New Delhi police busted two call centers that employed over 50 people. They scammed nearly 8,000 Americans, making them pay over $24 million in three years. How is it possible that these scammers have stolen so much money?

It isn’t always that the lies are terribly clever — many impersonate the IRS, demanding payment in gift cards for back taxes under the threat of immediate arrest. The reason it works is simple: Aggressive, high-pressure tactics create a reactive emotional state of heightened fear and anxiety that short-circuits logical thinking, says Amy Nofziger, regional director of the AARP Fraud Watch Network.

How can you or a loved one avoid becoming a victim?

No. 1: Don’t pick up.
Don’t pick up the phone from caller numbers you don’t know. To make it easier, add your name to the National Do Not Call Registry. It makes telemarketing to your phone number illegal. Any unknown callers will not be able to call you once you’re in the registry.

No. 2: Hang up.
If you happen to answer a suspicious call and begin receiving demands of money and dangerous threats, don’t panic and hang up. It’s definitely a scam.

No. 3: Never offer information to strangers.
Government agencies will never ask you to confirm your sensitive information over the phone. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and call authorities. They can tell you whether you’re in the clear, and information about the scam call you received can help them combat future schemes.

If you join AFEUSA, your information is even more secure with our partner ID Shield. With agents available 24 hours a day, ID Shield provides a $5 million guarantee that they can protect you and your loved ones’ identities. If a compromise occurs, you will receive a licensed private investigator who will immediately begin restoring your identity to pre-theft status. Join AFEUSA and enjoy exclusive, affordable access to identity protection today!

Article by Charles Jackson, President of AFEUSA

Charles Jackson AFE Board