Cell phones have become a tool of everyday life. We use it to access our bank accounts, social media and other personal information. However, there is one thing we could all deal with less often, and that is spam calls.

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Scammers are now - and have been - using spam calls to scam unsuspecting victims out of their personal information.

Personal information is big business and can lead to someone’s financial ruin if not detected early. Scammers use software to “spoof” a phone number that looks like a legitimate call from a business or government entity.

Text message SMS scam or phishing concept. Man hands using smart phone

There are five area codes that you should never answer because it's likely to be a scam, according to socialcatfish.com.

268 Area Code

The 268-area code has been associated with Antigua and Barbuda and is known as one used by scammers in various scams.

876 Area Code

The 876-area code is also one you want to avoid. It is associated with the country of Jamaica and has been linked to scams such as work-from-home or alleged lottery winnings.

473 Area Code

Unless you have family or friends living in Grenada or in the Grenadine Islands, this is an area code you definitely want to avoid and send to voice mail. Various scams have been linked to this area code, most centered around credit card fraud.

649 Area Code

The 649 area code is associated with the Turks and Caicos Islands and has been linked to scams involving ID theft, imposter scams, Credit Bureaus, Info Furnishers and Report Users.

284 Area Code

The British Virgin Islands is the area that is linked to this area code. This area code has been associated with a wide variety of scams that range from credit card fraud to identity theft.

What should I do if I get a call from these or any number I think could be a scam?

square grunge red scam stamp

Here are some tips, courtesy of SocialCatfish, on how to deal with suspected scam calls:

  1. Never give out any personal or financial information over the phone.
  2. Report any suspicious calls to the Federal Trade Commission and to your phone carrier.
  3. Don’t answer calls from any numbers or area codes you suspect may be a scam.
  4. Do an online search on the number and area code for any information about a scam.
  5. Add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry.

Keep up with any news about new developing scams and how to avoid them. Learning about new developing scams can help you or your loved ones from becoming victims. Readers can register on the do-not-call registry at donotcall.gov.

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