Maine Attorney General Janet Mills gives very valuable advice in the article “Tips for fighting phone scams: Don’t answer” (Nov. 7, Page C1).

Here are some other things that have worked for us:

Sign up your landline or voice-over-internet protocol service (from your cable or satellite company) for Nomorobo ( This blocks many robocalls from telemarketers and usually lets through automated calls from legitimate government sources (storm announcements, etc.) and political calls.

Install a blocker on your smartphone. There are several to chose from. We use something called Reverse Lookup. If a caller is not in one’s contacts, the app displays the number. We just wait for unfamiliar numbers to go to voicemail. Then Reverse Lookup can look up the number and can often identify its source or guide us to a search engine like Google or Bing. We have the option of sending future calls from the number directly to voicemail. Rather clunky, but it works for us.

For emails, here are some ways to identify scams in addition to Ms. Mills’ advice: Look for misspellings and grammatical mistakes. And pause the mouse pointer over any links (but don’t click!). Many scam links look strange and may even have a country designation like “ro” for Romania. And if there are several links that all go to the same place when you pause the mouse pointer over them, that’s a sure sign of a scam.

Never, ever download or install anything from an unsolicited email. And never open attachments from people you don’t know. Even if they’re labeled as text documents or Word documents, they can install a virus or worse on your computer.

It’s nearly impossible to become a victim of scammers if we don’t play their game.

Tim Baehr