How to Protect Yourself From Telephone Scammers

Posted Monday, February 13, 2023

Skagit PUD has recently heard from customers telling us that they’ve received phone calls from scammers claiming to be a utility representative and asking personal questions unrelated to water service. Protect yourself from con artists. Learn what you can do to avoid being a victim.


Telephone scammers try to steal your money or personal information. Scams may come through phone calls from real people, robocalls, or text messages. The callers often make false promises, such as opportunities to buy products, invest your money, or receive free product trials. They may also offer you money through free grants and lotteries. Some scammers may call with threats of jail or lawsuits if you don’t pay them.

Report Telephone Scams

Reporting scams to federal agencies helps them collect evidence for lawsuits against people committing these scams. However, federal agencies don’t investigate individual cases of telephone scams.

Also, report the scam to the state’s consumer protection office. Some consumer protection offices help residents resolve consumer problems. 

How to Protect Yourself

Remember these tips to avoid being a victim of a telephone scam:


  • Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. You may register online or by calling 1-888-382-1222. If you still receive telemarketing calls after registering, there’s a good chance that the calls are scams.

  • Be wary of callers claiming you’ve won a prize or vacation package.

  • Hang up on suspicious phone calls.

  • Be cautious of caller ID. Scammers can change the phone number on your caller ID screen. This is called “spoofing.”

  • Research business opportunities, charities, or travel packages separately from the information the caller has provided.


  • Don’t give in to pressure to take immediate action.

  • Don’t say anything if a caller starts the call asking, “Can you hear me?” This is a common tactic for scammers to record you saying “yes.” Scammers record your “yes” response to prove that you agreed to a purchase or credit card charge.

  • Don’t provide your credit card number, bank account information, or other personal information to a caller.

  • Don’t send money if the caller tells you to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card.