Scammers require diligence to know when to hang up, delete or shred

Published 2:57 am Sunday, April 17, 2011

As long as we pick up the phone or log on to a computer or empty our mailboxes, we have got to keep our guard up.

Just last week, the Mississippi Public Service Commission fined two companies — one in Arizona, the other in Florida — $15,000 each for violating Mississippi’s Do Not Call Law. That shield against solicitation has been a blessing for many Mississippians, but it is neither absolute nor foolproof.

The same applies to filters on your computer that block unwanted messages. Some spam is going to slip through and it is then up to you to guard your personal and financial data.

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The Federal Trade Commission has some excellent suggestions on how to do that at

The FTC also says that “If you believe you’ve been scammed, file your complaint at, and then visit the FTC’s Identity Theft website at Victims of phishing can become victims of identity theft.

“While you can’t entirely control whether you will become a victim of identity theft, you can take some steps to minimize your risk. If an identity thief is opening credit accounts in your name, these new accounts are likely to show up on your credit report. You may catch an incident early if you order a free copy of your credit report periodically from any of the three major credit bureaus. See for details on ordering a free annual credit report.”

If all that seems too complicated, then keep it simple:

Hang up on unwanted calls.

Delete unwanted emails.

Shred unwanted mail.

And just in case your momma isn’t around to remind you: If it sounds too good to be true, stop listening to it.