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Top 10 Phone scam

Top 10 Phone scam

Phone scams are an ever-increasing threat to consumers, costing unsuspecting victims millions of dollars each year. As technology has advanced, so have the methods and tactics of scammers. It’s important to be aware of the top 10 phone scams and how to protect yourself from them.


Threatening calls from the IRS.
Impersonating a debt collector.
"Can you hear me?"
The "free" cruise scam.
The grandparent scam.
The fake check scam.
The fake tech support scam.
The "phantom debt" scam.
The utility scam.
Website password requests.


1. Threatening calls from the IRS

The IRS scam is one of the most common phone scams. It involves scammers pretending to be IRS agents, calling victims to demand payment of a so-called tax debt. The scammers threaten the victim with jail time and other legal action if they don’t pay up. It’s important to remember that the IRS will never call a taxpayer to demand an immediate payment, and that the IRS does not accept payments over the phone.

2. Impersonating a debt collector

Another common phone scam is one where scammers pretend to be debt collectors. They call victims claiming to be from a collection agency and demand payment for a debt that isn’t actually owed. It’s important to remember that debt collectors must follow strict regulations when communicating with a debtor, and that they are not allowed to threaten or harass a debtor.

3. “Can you hear me?”

This phone scam involves scammers calling victims and asking “Can you hear me?” It is an attempt to get the victim to say “yes”, so that the scammer can then use it as proof of an agreement to purchase a product or service. It’s important to remember that if you receive such a call, you should hang up immediately and not say anything.

4. The “free” cruise scam

This scam involves scammers calling victims and offering them a “free” cruise if they provide their credit card information. It’s important to remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and that you should never provide your credit card information over the phone.

5. The grandparent scam

This scam involves scammers calling elderly victims and claiming to be a grandchild in need of money. The scammer will ask for cash or credit card information, and may even threaten the victim if they don’t provide it. It’s important to remember that if you receive such a call, you should hang up immediately and contact your grandchild to verify the story.

6. The fake check scam

This scam involves scammers sending victims a fake check and asking them to deposit it in their bank account. They then ask the victim to send them the money back, but the check turns out to be fake and the victim is out the money. It’s important to remember that if you receive a check from someone you don’t know, you should not deposit it and should instead contact your bank to verify its authenticity.

7. The fake tech support scam

This scam involves scammers calling victims and pretending to be from a tech support company. They will offer to fix a computer issue for a fee, but the “fix” is actually a scam. It’s important to remember that legitimate tech support companies will never call you out of the blue and ask for money.

8. The “phantom debt” scam

This scam involves scammers calling victims and demanding payment for a debt that doesn’t actually exist. It’s important to remember that debt collectors must follow strict regulations when communicating with a debtor, and that they are not allowed to threaten or harass a debtor.

9. The utility scam

This scam involves scammers calling victims and demanding payment for a utility bill that doesn’t actually exist. It’s important to remember that utility companies will never call you to demand an immediate payment, and that they will never ask for credit card information over the phone.

10. Website password requests

This scam involves scammers calling victims and asking for their website passwords. They then use the passwords to access personal information and commit identity theft. It’s important to remember that no legitimate website or organization will ever call you and ask for your password.


Phone scams are a serious threat to consumers, and it’s important to be aware of the top 10 phone scams and how to protect yourself from them. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a government agency, debt collector, tech support company, or website, it’s best to hang up and contact the organization directly to verify the call. By being aware of these scams, you can help protect yourself and your finances.