An online identity verification service called Social Catfish warns against answering unfamiliar phone numbers, as scammers often use illegal “spoofing” techniques to manipulate caller ID information. Scammers may also use local area codes to appear legitimate. Social Catfish advises ignoring numbers with area codes 268, 876, 473, 649, and 284, as these have been tied to various types of fraud. If you do answer, do not engage with the caller or provide personal or financial information. Verify the caller’s identity through an online search instead. The Federal Communications Commission urges reporting suspicious phone calls or spoofing scams. Adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry and using call-blocking software can also prevent scammers from contacting you.

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