No, this isn’t about standing up to peer pressure and drugs. This time, it’s defending your finances and preventing the loss of hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Being scammed is one of the easiest ways to lose money fast. It’s harder to stay secure nowadays with the internet and thousands of people all seeking one thing: your account information.
The latest scam to hit Mesquite and the rest of the country is something that seems harmless. It’s one simple word, and it’s all a scammer needs to start acquiring products in your name: Yes.
You get a phone call; not recognizing the number, you answer it anyway. The voice on the other line sounds friendly, saying ‘Hello’ multiple times and then asking you if you can hear them okay. Instinctively, you say ‘Yes.’
Perhaps you get a phone call from someone who claims to be raising money for a police funeral fund, help for needy families, or some other worthy cause that may entice you to say ‘Yes.’
Congratulations, you may now be the newest victim of the latest phone scam the Better Business Bureau has warned about.
With that one word, on a recorded line from the caller, they can now use your voice against you.
When proceeding with the call, the computer on the other end of the line that is recording you may go on to say that you have won a vacation package, cruise, and qualify for a warranty and other major items. They will always ask questions that will require a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer.
It is unclear as to whether or not any of the latest attempts made have been effective. However, the BBB explains that your response can be edited to make it sound like you authorized a major purchase.
It’s a ploy that has been used for some time against businesses to purchases office supplies and directory ads that they never actually ordered. Days or even months go by with no suspicious activity, and then all of a sudden it hits. When the victim attempts to fight the charges, claiming that they never agreed to that purchase, the voice recording is then used against them.
For the past two weeks, nearly half of the complaints filed with the BBB have been about this scam. Staff at the MLN have also received multiple calls like this, so even our safe community is vulnerable to the scam.
In an effort to keep consumers safe from the scam, the BBB is suggesting that people be aware of suspicious phone calls and utilize caller ID. If you only have a landline and do not subscribe to the ID service, the BBB suggests you do so. It’s usually available for a very low monthly fee through the local phone companies.
Use the caller ID to screen your calls. If you don’t know the number calling, let it go to the answering machine or to voicemail. If it is someone important, then they will leave a message and you can call them back.
If you receive a call and they immediately say “Can you hear me?” DO NOT answer ‘Yes.’ Instead, simply hang up the phone. Make a note of the number, if possible, and report it to the BBB by calling the local office or online at bbb.org/scamtracker.
Check your bank and credit card statements frequently, as well as your cell phone statement. According to the BBB, “scammers may be using the “yes” recording of your voice to authorize charges on your phone. This is called ‘cramming’ and it is illegal.”
To be on the defensive, the BBB also recommends joining the Do Not Call Registry at donotcall.gov. While it won’t protect you entirely from the scammers since they don’t care about the laws, it will reduce your overall telemarketing calls and will help you recognize the scam calls quicker. Since being introduced in 2003, the Federal Trade Commission has shut down companies who have violated the DNC list and recovered funds from robocalls that were illegally placed.