Have you ever gotten an annoying, unsolicited phone call from a company or someone you don't know? Many times they come at the worst possible moment, like when you're about to sit down for a nice family dinner.
There's bad news, though, some of these calls are going from aggravating to malicious. It's true, there are scammers making seemingly harmless phone calls, but you won't believe how they are using those calls against their victims.
How this phone scam works
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is receiving complaints from people across the U.S. about the latest phone scam making the rounds.
What's happening is, people are receiving automated calls from someone claiming to be an employee of a certain business. Some companies they are supposedly representing are cruise lines, home security agencies, or social security firms.
The criminal begins the call with a simple, "Can you hear me?" Warning: Do NOT answer that question on one of these unsolicited calls. It's a scam!
If you answer that question, or any question for that matter, with a "yes," the criminal can use it against you. They are actually recording the victims' responses.
If they record you saying "yes," they can use it to claim that you agreed to certain charges. They then threaten to sue the victim if they attempt to deny the charges.
These calls usually show up with the local area code on the caller ID. This lets the victims' guard down, thinking it's someone local and they might know the person.
What you need to do
Police are urging everyone who receives a call like this to immediately hang up. It's not rude to hang up on a potential scammer.
This isn't the first time this type of phone scam has been seen. Last year, a similar version was going around with the criminal asking people questions like, "Do you pay the household bills?" or "Are you the homeowner?"
Taking advice from police is your best course of action here. If you get a call from someone you don't know asking an easy question where the answer is yes, hang up.
Caution is always the best action, especially in today's world!