Just when you think you are above being scammed by callers to your phone, some new twist on the old scam schemes sneaks onto the scene. The latest scam may be the sneakiest since Satan got Eve to say “Yes” in the Garden of Eden.
The new scam is so simple that many people never see it coming. After all, this is the hallmark of a scam. If we saw it coming, it wouldn’t work.
The point of this article is to help you see it coming.
The Skinny on the New Phone Scam
The objective: to get you to say “Yes.”
The method: to ask you a question to which you will answer “Yes.” The questions sound innocent enough. For example:
- “Can you hear me clearly?”
- “Am I speaking to (your name)?
The sting: Once the caller has a recording of your voice saying “Yes,” your response can be “spliced” into another recording in which the questions are different. In the altered recording, your “Yes” sounds like a response by which you agree to purchase something. Or worse.
The Sides of New Technology
The constant and accelerating development of new technologies is exciting. However, we need to be aware that there are people who use good technology for evil purposes. It’s okay to be excited, but it is important that we be cautious.
Both the FCC and the BBB have issued advice on how to avoid being scammed on the phone.
- Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.
- 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.
- If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC so it can help identify and take appropriate action to help consumers targeted by illegal callers.
- Make a note of the number and report it to BBB Scam Tracker to help warn others.
- 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 your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry.
Common sense used to be enough to be your guide. Now it takes education, wisdom, and forethought. Be alert. Be cautious. Be safe.