3.29.2017

Another phone scam warning: This one hooks you simply by saying "YES" (MUST READ)


When I read this article I instantly remembered the SAME CALL I got last summer. 
The phone rings and a voice (usually female) says something similar to "Oh, I didn't think you'd pick up!  Can you hear me ok?"
When I got this call last summer it was a woman's voice and she was laughing while she said it like she was having a conversation with someone else while dialing me.  The thing is... I hadn't actually answered my phone.  I was sitting here at my home office desk with the phone right beside me and I had the machine pick it up while I listened.  As soon as she said that, and got silence, the person at the other end hung up. 

Now I know it was probably a robot calling with a recording.

Most people will of course say "yes" to the question "can you hear me ok?".  Right there is where they got ya.

By recording your voice they now can use that as the affirmative 'yes' to make fraudulent charges in your name.

But before I go further I want to add another way I'm pretty sure they using the same scam a few years ago... but they didn't ask if you could hear them.  Instead they would call and using your name, (assume it's John Smith)  they will immediately ask if this was you. 

"Hello?"
"Is this John Smith?"
"Yes...?"

Click.

Got ya.

Only when they called our home my husband answered (which he never does) and when they asked "Is this Joseph Smith?"  He replied, "It's Joe..."  because he doesn't ever go by his legal name of Joseph.  As soon as he answered "It's Joe" they hung up. 

So... here is a portion of the article that gave the warning that was the basis of this warning post on Coffee Talking and they give some advice at the bottom on what to do when you get calls from numbers you don't know.

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The Federal Communications Commission is warning consumers about a new scam that is hooking consumers with just one word: Yes.

According to the FCC, the scam begins as soon as a person answers the phone. A recorded voice or an actual person asks: "Can you hear me?" And the consumer responds, "Yes."

"The caller then records the consumer's 'Yes' response and thus obtains a voice signature. This signature can later be used by the scammers to pretend to be the consumer and authorize fraudulent charges via telephone," an FCC news release said.

"According to complaints the FCC has received and public news reports, the fraudulent callers impersonate representatives from organizations that provide a service and may be familiar to the person receiving the call, such as a mortgage lender or utility, to establish a legitimate reason for trying to reach the consumer," the news release said.


The FCC advised consumers to immediately hang up if they receive this type of call. It also said that if consumers had responded "Yes" to a similar call in the past, they should keep an eye on all financial statements for any unauthorized charges.


The FCC also shared the following tips:

1. Don't answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.

2. If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents.

3. If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC so we can help identify and take appropriate action to help consumers targeted by illegal callers.

4. Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC's website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls. Consider registering all of your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry.