It may be hard to believe but just saying “yes” during a phone call could be part of the latest scam. Tom Stephens from the Better Business Bureau of the Southeast Atlantic says all of us are so busy that answering a call, especially on our cell phone, is something we may do automatically. And he says that may be the problem.
Case in point: his own recent experience which he says is an example of what may be the latest type of scam. “My cell phone rings, it was from a 904 area code and there was this cheery voice on the other end of the line that said “Hi this is Josh from Customer Service, can you hear me?’ And what’s the obvious answer? It’s yes. And then they hang up. And all they wanted was for you to say yes – because they take that recording and they splice it into another recording that they can then use to cram something on your phone bill. And that’s been going on for several months. We can’t honestly say where it’s going to lead but at least three Attorney Generals have issued warnings on it. Sooner or later, something is going to hit and there will be a bunch of charges to a bunch of credit card or a bunch of phone bills somewhere.”
The Better Business Bureau advises that you screen your calls and simply don’t answer those when you don’t recognize the caller. Stephens says it can be irritating that we can’t answer our own phone, but better to screen a call and avoid a scammer than end up talking to one and possibly making a mistake. Stephens says answering “yes” to a question like can you hear me or am I talking to John Smith – seems innocent but unfortunately it might come back to haunt you.
Advice on Scams
1) Screen calls, answer only those numbers you recognize
2) Never offer personal information to anyone over the phone, especially social security number or bank account information
3) Remember that the Internal Revenue Service will NOT call you and seek personal information
4) Local law enforcement will also NOT call you saying you have to pay because you missed jury duty
5) If it sounds too good to be true, it is