I've been getting a lot of phone calls lately from my old area address 815 (Illinois) even though I haven't lived there in nearly 10 years. I rarely answer them, but on the occasions I do, there's either (a) silence on the other end or (b) an automated message regarding something irrelevant to me.

My wife has been getting similar calls from her old MN area code, and I'd be willing to bet you have, too.

These calls likely aren't accidental but scams. What's scarier still is that scammers can now pose as someone in your contacts without you ever knowing.

This video from NBC News shows how easily a cyber security expert gets personal information from the NBC host's friends and family.

Some precautions you can take against phone scams like these -- called spoofs -- include:

1. Be wary of unexpected phone calls, even from familiar phone numbers
2. Never give out personal information unless you make the phone call yourself
3. Download apps like Mr. Number and True Caller that can confirm phone numbers and block spam calls

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