Luckily for me, I am generally one of those people who doesn't answer the phone if I don't recognize the number. And lately, I've gotten dozens of calls from numbers I don't recognize, or are just listed as "unknown". Yesterday, my curiosity got the better of me, and I answered the phone to one of these weird calls.

I was hardly shocked to hear an automated recording. And it was the one we've heard so much of recently... A computerized voice telling me there was fraudulent activity associated with my social security number, and that I was about to face major legal action if I didn't respond.

Now, I know that the "social security office" is never going to get in touch with me via an automated call, to let me know that there are about to be charges levied against me. There's been nothing in the mail, no phone calls from a real person, no extra contact info, other than to call them back at a non 1-800 number. It couldn't have smelled any more like a scam.

But what about folks who are older, or people who suffer from dementia? Or people who may have had some trouble with the law in the past, and feel vulnerable? Not everyone might know.

But if they're calling from a regular phone number, it's likely not the government. If it's an automated computer voice, that's another giveaway. If you haven't received anything in the mail beforehand, warning you of trouble, it's probably not true. Listen to your inner voice. If it seems fishy, it probably is.

The thing is, just wait. If it's real, trust me, they'll find you. But don't ever give any personal info, and certainly no banking or credit card info. Again, if it were real, you'd be able to get some outside verification that it was. Don't just trust whoever is on the other end of the phone.

Or, coming full circle, just don't answer the phone!