Telemarketers want you to pick up the phone. Although Mom and Dad taught you to be nice to salesmen, the National Crime Prevention Council recommends that you hang up on telemarketers – if you answer the phone at all.

Telemarketing fraud–which attempts to cheat you out of your valuables through deception–is on the rise. Senior citizens suffering from dementia or memory loss are prime targets for schemes like this, but we all need to watch out.

Some helpful hints:

*Sign up for the national Do Not Call Registry at (888) 382-1222 or www.donotcall.gov. This will help decrease calls from telemarketers.

*If a caller asks for personal information such as a credit card number or Social Security number, politely refuse and hang up.

*If a caller offers a free item and then wants you to pay for shipping or taxes, politely refuse and hang up.

*If a caller demands a decision on a limited-time offer, politely refuse and hang up.

*If you don't understand the offer, ask to receive information by mail. If the telemarketer refuses to do that, end the call.