CONSUMER FIRST ALERT: Wisconsin woman said yes on a call that was two scams in one
“They said, ‘Can you hear me now?’ I let my guard down...”
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - We have a Consumer First Alert update to a story we brought you earlier this week about scammers finding new ways to trick people into saying “Yes.”
A Wisconsin woman tells Consumer First Alert she answered one of those phone calls.
“It sounded like it was disconnected, and I said, ‘Hello,’ then they come on and then it went out, and then it clicked back on. They said, ‘Can you hear me now?’ I let my guard down and I said yes, and then they hung up,” Linda from Janesville told us.
It turns out Linda was actually the target of two scams in one. What she did immediately after hanging up the phone is important advice.
Linda said the caller initially said they were with Spectrum and wanted to go over a few things with her account.
They started asking for her address, and she told them they should already have that. But she did get fooled, and Linda says she’s taking extra care to protect herself now.
After hanging up, she called Spectrum to verify. They told her it was a scam call.
Spectrum’s website has warnings about the increase in fraudulent calls, texts and emails. Specifically, scammers are targeting customers with a half-price offer for a fee.
The Federal Trade Commission says it has thousands of reports about this scam.
So there were two scams going in that one call.
Linda said she regrets saying “Yes.” She’s even heard of this phone scam.
While scammers have been using this “Can you hear me now?” trick for a while, the BBB warns they could use any question to trick you into saying yes, such as:
- “Did you receive your new Medicare card?”
- “Did you shop recently at (insert name of popular retailer)?”
- “Is this the best number to reach you if we get disconnected?”
- “Is this [your name]?”
- “Is this [your number],” as if they dialed the wrong number?
Their stories can vary about why they’re calling -- vacations, warranties, Medicare.
The Better Business Bureau says don’t answer any questions from callers you don’t know or weren’t expecting. Don’t say yes. Just hang up. If you were able to get a phone number, report it to the BBB’s ScamTracker.
That’s what Linda did, and now she’s following their advice.
The BBB says if you’ve said “Yes” or shared any personal information with a scam caller, monitor your accounts. If you see suspicious charges, you should report them immediately, no matter how small.
There’s not a clear answer to how scammers are using this simple, one-word response. They might be recording it and could use it to authorize purchases or authorize changes to an account.
Consumer First Alert wants to help you stay one step ahead of scams, but we need you to talk with friends, family, and neighbors. The more we share details about these scams, like Linda is, we can stop people from saying yes to scammers.
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