By Rebecca Worthington

Phone scams are on the rise, with billions of robocalls targeting U.S. citizens each month. An estimated 1 in 3 Americans admit they’ve fallen victim to a phone scam in the past year. The numbers are staggering and can lead to significant losses to those who fall prey. Here are 7 ways to recognize a phone scammer.

1. They contact you

Unsolicited calls requesting payment or personal information are typically scams. Many people get duped because scammers have begun using familiar phone numbers to look like more legitimate calls. This includes calls looking like they are from someone in your neighborhood or area code. On the flip side, if it’s a number with an area code you don’t recognize, it can also be a scam. The Better Business Bureau warns that there are locations outside the U.S. where telephone numbers actually look like domestic long-distance numbers. For example, 809 and 284 are area codes in the Caribbean.

2. If there is a delayed greeting, it’s probably a phone scammer

I know I get one or two of these delayed greeting calls every day. If the caller does not respond right away, they are probably using an automatic dialer and it’s possible it is some type of scam. Don’t be afraid to hang up on such calls. If someone legitimate really wants to speak to you, they’ll call back and leave a voice mail.

3. The caller asks for your personal information

Anytime that anyone you did not contact asks for your personal information, such as…

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