Not many things worse than a phishing phone call, email or text. In most cases these are fairly easy to detect, but in some cases it can be more difficult. Regardless, these individuals aim is to do you some type of harm (identity theft, financial exploit, virus, ransomeware, or worse).
Signs that the person contacting you is fake can include suspicious behavior, withholding contact information, not wanting to speak on the phone, sending a courier, offering checks or certified money orders (these are often fake), refusing to answer simple questions, etc. If you can get enough info from the scammer, such as phone number or email address, plug it into google and see if you can find any comments. This is a great way to flush out a scammer, as the don't often change the con. You can also search the email subject or body content of the text or email. Feel free to add your comments online to help others give these con artists a timeline and profile on the web that will help others identify them as well.
If you encounter a scam call, email or text, I recommend forwarding it to a governing agency. Here is a link the the Federal Trade Commission. Will anything come of your complaint. Probably not, but it is something you can do. I find the most helpful thing we can do is keep the conversation alive in threads to help other avoid them.
Wall of Shame
Feel free to comment and add your scammer to my Wall of Shame