(WSYR-TV) — Scams, whether by phone or email, seem to change by the day.

“So, we’re seeing an increase in scams,” said Trooper Jack Keller, New York State Police Public Information Officer. “I think what we’re trying to do is get that education and awareness out there that your private information should stay exactly that, private.”

NewsChannel 9 has heard from many of you about various scams. Here is the list:

  • Norton Antivirus
  • IRS
  • Publishers Clearing House
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Spectrum
  • Medicare
  • Work from home opportunities
  • Police Benevolent Association

While the companies are different, the red flags are the same.

“These companies aren’t going to ask for information whether it’s your bank account, your social security number or your personal information. If they ask for that first, that should be the first red flag. The second red flag is is if they’re asking you to give them money.”

Trooper Jack Keller, New York State Police Public Information Officer

They usually want the money immediately. Another red flag is if they ask you to get them gift cards. Keller said it’s been common with the grandparents scam where an elderly person is asked to help or bail out a loved one.

“You can’t pay bail with a gift card,” Keller added.

Keller said if you’re contacted, you should hang up or delete the email. He said oftentimes these scammers are out of the country so there’s not much police can do. And once you’ve given them your info or money, it’s almost impossible to get back.

“It’s sad because a lot of this money is their life savings,” Keller said.

While you can call local police to report a scam, Trooper Keller encourages you to report it to the New York State Office of the Attorney General or the Federal Trade Commission.

The number for the AG’s Consumer Frauds Bureau is (800) 771-7755 or visit ag.ny.gov

To report scams or identity theft visit the FTC’s website: ftc.gov or call (877) 382-4357.