Many of us want to believe we're living in a beautiful world. We want to believe people are kindhearted and have good intentions. That people look out for eachother. That people care. For the most part, they do. But among the good are a few sharp edges. In this case, we're talking about scammers. 

Scammers are people who intentionally prey on the weak or naive. They use a variety of methods to "score".  You can see these people from day to day on sidewalk streets. Playing card games with no winner or guessing games that seem rigged. It's not something you see every day. But when you do catch a glimpse of one of these guys, it makes you think. What kind of world are we actually living in? 

Well the good news is: it's not all bad. Scammers are just people who lost their way. They lost their sense of purpose and now, they don't know what they're doing. It would be great if we could simply help them. Unfortunately, some of them are just too far gone. You can't ignore them, either. 

While scammers used to stick to the world outside, they've slowly moved into our inner circles. They reach through the telephone and our computers on a daily basis. The emails used to be easy to spot, but they aren't that obvious anymore. The good news is that there are little things you can look for, like the email address. Then you can search that email on Google. It's fairly easy to find scam emails. Over the phone, it's not that easy. 

Scam phone calls range. It could be someone claiming to be a police officer needing to talk to you. It could be the "government" or your financial institution looking for private information. Even with caller ID on your phone, these numbers would likely show up as private anyway. There's no advanced features to figure out if the phone number is verified. It's hard to know if a phone call is legitimate. Luckily, there are new ways you can check online. Websites like offer a way to identify scam phone calls. You can enter the phone number of the caller and it will tell you if anyone has reported that number. 

These reports range from obvious scams to prank calls and other annoyances. This includes people who call and say nothing. Or people who heavily breathe into the phone. These are largely user-run websites, where anyone can submit information. They aren't always perfect, but they are definitely a good start to protecting yourself from telephone scams. 

It never hurts to double check the legitimacy of any phone call. If the scammer used your financial institution, call them directly and ask to speak to a manager. This will tell you if it was actually them calling. You can do this with anyone who calls. Hang up with the scammer and call whoever they are pretending to be. 
If you get one of the people who just wants to breathe heavily into your phone, get the number blocked from your service provider. When it's due to harassment, there's no fee for blocking a