When you read the word "Tonga" what do you think of? A kind of toy truck? A brand of swimwear? Or do you think of an island nation in the southern Pacific Ocean where many phone scams originate?

It should be pretty obvious that Tonga is not a toy or a bikini. It is an island nation and the reason why so many people around South Louisiana are simply refusing to answer their phones. Recent days have seen an explosion of unsolicited calls from area code 676. That's the area code for Tonga and I bet you weren't expecting a call from anyone from there were you?

Chances are the phone call didn't actually originate from Tonga either. The phone scammers are just using the islands area code and phone exchange as a method of getting past call blocks and into your wallet.

So, if you get a call from area code 676 don't answer the phone. Unless you're expecting a call from Tonga. Don't call the number back either. Even though you might have "free long distance" on your mobile phone this is an international call and you will be charged for making it. Trust me, international calls ain't cheap, so don't dial the number back.

The Better Business Bureau is offering that advice and we agree with it. Also, if you could share this information especially with your older relatives that might help someone else keep their money in their pocket instead of lining the pockets of the bad guys from Tonga or wherever it is they are plying their evil trade.