Receiving unsolicited phone calls from people you that don't know can be super annoying. It seems like they happen at the worst possible moments, like when you're at a movie or trying to spend some quality time with the family. Unfortunately, these aggravating calls can now be malicious too.
We told you about one of these phone scams last week and rumor-debunking website Snopes claims that it's not real. Believe me, it is.
Researchers at Snopes said that this scenario sounds feasible, but because they had not heard of anyone actually falling victim to this scam it's most likely not happening. However, several of us here at Komando.com actually know people who have fallen victim to this scam. They received the call and later had charges show up on their bank account.
Let's remind you about this scam.
How this phone scam works
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been receiving complaints from people across the U.S. about a 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.
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.
If you think that you have received one of these calls and said the word yes, there are a couple things that you need to do.
- Check your bank accounts - It's a good practice to check your bank accounts frequently already. If you see any suspicious charges, report them to your bank immediately.
- Look closely at your phone bills - Your phone bill might fluctuate from month to month depending on overages and fees. This is common. However, you should be paying attention to each charge that shows up on your bill, you could find a fraudulent one from a scam like this. If you do see a suspicious charge, call your mobile provider to verify it. If it's fraudulent, you can dispute it.
Caution is always the best action, especially in today's world!