1. Do not talk to telemarketers.
- Use an answering machine. Telemarketers usually won't leave a message.
- Get Caller I.D. Only answer calls from phone numbers you recognize.
- Hang up if there is a long hesitation before someone responds. Telemarketers make several calls at a time and usually talk to the first person who answers.
- If you are not interested, hang up.
2. If you do talk to them, trust your instincts.
- Never give out personal information, such as credit cards, bank ID numbers, drivers license numbers, and social security numbers.
- It's illegal for telemarketers to ask for this information.
- Get any offer in writing. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
- Don't be pressured.
Regarding repair work...
- Only contact well-established, reputable repairmen / companies.
- Never allow a repair person to fix anything without your approval.
- Get estimates and referrals.
- Follow-up on references.
- Have someone you trust look over the agreement.
Don't Be Fooled!
- Follow up on any unpaid bills accrued by a deceased spouse. They may not be real.
- Be leery of "official looking" ads or sweepstakes that you receive in the mail.
- If your Social Security number is on your driver's license or checks, have it removed.
- Avoid having bank debit cards. Stealing from them is easy.
- Avoid calling 900 numbers. They are not toll free and there are usually hidden fees.