For as long as there has been some type of barter or money system, I have no doubt that there have been scammers.

There was probably some caveman trying to figure out how to scam other cavemen out of their hard-earned saber-toothed tiger pelts or whatever currency they were using or trading.

As technology has advanced, the scammers have evolved, too. But they still want the same thing — the easy way to your money, by hitting your emotions or downright scaring or tricking you to give them your money.

With such schemes popping up with a vengeance in recent weeks, I’ve compiled an overview of prolific scams that just won’t go away.

Take today’s information and share it with your friends and relatives — particularly senior citizens, who often are the target. Share it by email, Twitter, Facebook or clip it out, mail it to someone, or better yet walk it over to an elderly neighbor.

People get targeted by scammers every day. I get calls all the time from people who are wondering if the scam call they just got is for real — so much so that sometimes I feel like a broken record.

Some of these may have slight variations, but the scam is the same.

For example, reader Diane McCullough of Akron called recently to tell me of a twist on a billing scam. She got a phone call saying there had been a computer glitch and she overpaid her magazine subscription by $79. The caller wanted to credit her account and rattled off a card number that wasn’t hers, expecting her to then give him the right number.

“They’re so convincing,” she said.

We need to keep sharing this knowledge so we don’t give the power — or our hard-earned money — to those pesky scammers.

Robocall reminder

Many of these scam calls come through those annoying robocalls on your house phone and cellphone and yes, they’ve gotten so out of hand that they’re maddening.

You can register your number on the Federal Do Not Call List, 888-382-1222, but that will block calls from legitimate companies who make phone calls. Most robocalls come from scammers who are illegally calling you, so they’re not abiding by the Do Not Call List.

If you have an Internet-based phone system, such as Time Warner Digital phone or AT&T’s U-verse or Verizon’s Fios, you can use a free service I’ve written about before called Nomorobo. The service,, was a winner of the Federal Trade Commission’s contest a few years ago to come up with new technology to block robocallers.

Once you register, details are on the website or you can read a previous column of mine at, the service will hang up on robocallers.

We’ve been using Nomorobo for more than a year at home, and it’s so satisfying when it cuts a robocaller off after a ring or two. For the most part, there have been no glitches; if a call is mistakenly blocked or a robocall comes through, we can report that to Nomorobo.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with traditional land line phones or wireless providers and the Nomorobo folks are still lobbying those companies to work with them.

Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or and see all her stories at