LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — If someone on the other end of your phone says it’s a government agency calling, then it’s likely a sign you’re being targeted for a scam.

“It’s never a good idea to give out sensitive information like your Social Security number to someone who calls you unexpectedly, even if they say they’re with the Social Security Administration or IRS,” according to information at the website of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency that compiles reports on telephone fraud.

Last year, Americans lost $65 billion to robocall fraud, more than double the amount in 2021, according to a study by Robokiller, the online blocker for spam calls and texts.

The FTC’s advice is to resist when someone in a phone call is demanding payment immediately or asking for sensitive information.

“Scammers might pretend to be law enforcement or a federal agency,” the FTC site says. “They might say you’ll be arrested, fined, or deported if you don’t pay taxes or some other debt right away. The goal is to scare you into paying. But real law enforcement and federal agencies won’t call and threaten you.”

Another warning sign is requiring payment by wiring money, putting money on a gift card or using a money transfer app. “Anyone who asks you to pay that way is a scammer,” the FTC site says.

Here are some of the common ways callers might try to scam someone, according to the FTC:

  • Trusted agency: The scammer will pretend to be representing the IRS or the Social Security Administration. Pay or else. Don’t fall for it. Such agencies won’t call and threaten.
  • Debt relief/credit repair: An offer to lower credit card interest, fix your credit rating or forgive student loan debt by first paying an up-front fee.
  • Prize winnings: You’re a winner — maybe a vacation — but to claim the prize you must first pay taxes, registration fees or shipping charges.

In Nevada, if you’ve been scammed or feel you’ve been targeted, you can report it online at the Consumer Protection Bureau website or by calling the state agency, 888-434-9989.

Scams also can be reported to the FTC and the FBI’s Internet Crime Compliant Center.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s financial crimes section (702-828-3483) is tasked with investigating local fraud and scams. In a May story by the section said it handles between 400 and 500 cases monthly.