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.
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.
Protect Yourself! 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.