I hate phone scammers.  They prey on our nature to panic when we think a stranger might have access to our bank account.  I find it equally annoying that we can be fooled into giving someone the very same private information that we are protecting.

This number has called my cell phone twice:  214-232-0615

It was an automated robot telling me that my debit card has been put "on hold" for security issues and to "press 1" for more information.  I played along.  The recording then prompted me to enter my account number.  I didn't need to hear any more to know for sure I was dealing with a scam.

Recently, there seems to be a barrage of phone scams hitting the Twin Falls area.

I am by no means an identity fraud expert but I thought I would offer up some average-joe advice on what's kept me safe over the last few years.

1.  Don't give out your information to ANYONE who calls.  It's easy.  Maybe they really are who they say they are?  I don't care.  I don't give out any information to an incoming call.

2.  If you think they might be telling the truth, thank them and hang up.

3.  Call your bank.  Don't bother with the automated hoops you might have to jump through,  hit "0" and talk to a representative.  When you reach someone, tell them about the call you just received.  If there really is a problem with your account, they'll tell you.

Once you've been assured that you are in good standing and your personal information is secure, I like to research the phone number.  A lot of times the number is blocked but on the rare occasions I get all the digits on my caller ID, I google the number followed by the word "scam."  Nearly every time, you'll find numerous blogs that host scam numbers and sure enough, you'll find the number along with several stories of others who have received the same call.

Don't forget to tell your friends and family, especially any seniors you know.  It's not that they're stupid, they're  trusting, which makes them easy prey.   

It's also a good idea to call the police.  There's really  not a whole lot they can do if you foolishly gave your information to the person on the other end of the call but they can put out warnings.

You can leave a message for Officer Luke Allen or email lallen@tfid.org

Listen to what one of the calls sounds like: