The phone rings, and the caller on the other end asks if you can hear him. An affirmative response doesn’t seem like it would pose a threat, but as it turns out it might be. The most recent scam targeting consumers involves this very scenario, and it could prove costly for the person answering the phone.
What to Watch For
It all starts with a phone call. Upon answering, the scammer on the other end will ask a question that incites a response of the word “yes.” The most popular option seems to be, “Can you hear me?” However, the caller may ask something as simple as whether you are a homeowner. From there, the caller allegedly records you saying yes, and uses said recording to authorize purchases or sign up for services. Essentially, this is a means of having proof that you did in fact consent to the accumulated debt.
While many have reported receiving the call to their respective Better Business Bureaus, there has yet to be a case of someone actually being defrauded by the scam. That said, this fact does not remove the possibility that fraudulent behavior could occur. Therefore, it is essential that consumers be informed about how to avoid falling victim to a scheme like this one.
How to Protect Yourself
There’s no denying that scam artists are crafty, and this latest ploy is proof of that — but that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself against them. The best way to avoid falling victim to a phone scam is simply to avoid answering the phone if you aren’t familiar with the number. If you must answer, always hang up if asked a yes or no question, or just because you realize the caller is not someone you know. Engaging the caller may seem like the polite thing to do, but it could come back to haunt you if this friendliness opens the door to criminal activity. If you do have a conversation with the caller, avoid divulging personal information and be sure to contact your local Better Business Bureau to verify the legitimacy of the caller. Finally, keep an eye for unauthorized charges on your credit cards or bank statements. If it turns out your call did result in fraudulent activity, be sure to contact a Miami consumer protection lawyer right away.
If you’re the target of a phone scam, or simply have questions about your rights, a Miami consumer protection lawyer at Graham Legal can help you through it. Call our office today to learn more about how to protect yourself when ill-intentioned callers choose you as their next target.