Scammers use familiarity to get victims to fall for their scams. One way to do that is to spoof a cell phone number from the same area code to make the targeted person think that the person calling or texting them is someone they know. When the call is answered, it is a recording or there is a long pause, and then the person on the other end starts their spiel about how your car warranty has expired. That’s an obvious scam.

If you receive a call from a familiar area code, but you don’t recognize the number or the caller’s name is not in your contacts, let the call go to voice mail. If the caller knows you and it is a legitimate call, they will leave a message. If the caller is a scammer, they usually won’t leave a message and you can delete the number from your phone.

The same is true for texts. If you don’t recognize the number, be cautious about responding or clicking on any links in the text. Scammers are even known to catch you off guard by calling or texting you from your own number. They are betting on the fact that you will be so surprised to get such a call or text that you will answer, even if it is just out of curiosity. Suppress the urge!

Here are some tips from the FTC should you get a text from your own phone or spam texts.