"I'm calling from microsoft...."Anybody can claim to be any identity on the phone, especially when they're calling you. That is especially when they have their numbers blocked.
"This is the ---charity."
"I'm from your bank. Didn't you say you wanted a loan?"
"Your appliance service has expired..."
Yes, I know that sometimes those calls are legitimate, but how can you tell them from the scammer? You can't.
For years after my late father-in-law, when visiting us, had once signed us up for a trial subscription to the Jerusalem Post, we got calls from them. My father-in-law had lived in New York, and soon after he had arranged that subscription, which was a waste of money, since the paper always came a day or two late, he passed away. The callers kept asking for "Harold," and I kept replying:
"Harold is dead. Please stop harassing us."Eventually I had to add:
"I'm going to report you to the police for harassment."Bli eyin haraa, I haven't heard from them for awhile.
For the fundraisers, I'm the party pooper who replies:
"I don't give over the phone." And then I hang up.That's the best answer. None of us want to be robbed. It's one thing to give a bit of cash to a faux beggar at the door. In that case you still get the mitzvah, and the conman/woman gets the sin. Also you have control over the exact amount. Checks and credit cards are dangerous. They have a lot of information on them..
May your money go to legitimate causes and businesses. It's better to be cautious.