Setup a Family Authentication Password to Help Prevent Phone Scams

Phone scams are a growing problem, and they can be very costly for victims. One way to protect yourself and your family from phone scams is to set up a family authentication password.

A family authentication password is a secret word that only you and your family members know. If you receive a phone where the call may be using Voice AI Emulating a Voice You Know or maybe using something like a Grandparents Wire Transfer Scam, you can use your family authentication password to confirm it is in fact the family member calling your or they are truly in trouble. If they don’t know the password, you can be sure that the caller is not legitimate.

Setting up a family authentication password is easy. Just choose a word or phrase that is easy for you and your family to remember, but difficult for someone else to guess. You can write the password down and keep it in a safe place, or you can memorize it.

Once you have set up a family authentication password, make sure that everyone in your family knows it. You should also teach your family members about phone scams and how to spot them.

Here are some tips for spotting phone scams:

  • The caller will often be very aggressive and demanding.
  • The caller may claim that you have unpaid bills or that your account has been compromised.
  • The caller may ask for your personal information, such as your Social Security number or credit card number.
  • The caller may ask you to make a payment immediately.

If you receive a phone call that seems suspicious, hang up the phone and do not give out any personal information. You can quickly call the family member in question and really see if they were in trouble.

Here are some additional tips for preventing phone scams:

  • Never give out personal information over the phone, unless you are sure that the caller is legitimate.
  • Be wary of calls that come out of the blue. If you don’t recognize the caller, don’t answer the phone.
  • If you do answer a suspicious call, don’t be afraid to hang up.
  • If you think you have been scammed, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can do so online at or by calling 1–877-FTC-HELP.

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