The scamming scum gets more and more creative. I read about this one over the weekend with mild interest. Then it happened to my wife Monday morning. Good thing I had sent my wife the link to the WTOP news article below so she was prepared. (Yes. I do email my wife scam alerts.)
How the Scam Works
The latest scam involves getting you to say no more than a simple “yes” when you answer the phone, which being recorded by the scammer. The fraudsters input your response into a scripted sales pitch at just the point you have to accept or decline the offer or product, which makes it sound like you said “yes” to their offer. Then they make you try to pay for the service.
I first learned of this scam in this WTOP article. The article states there are no documented cases of someone actually paying up yet. But we all know that is how these scammers survive – people are too embarrassed to report that they got scammed. I’m betting there are scores of people who have fallen victim to this scam, and I’m also betting those who do say “yes” and later resist paying will face future fake collection agency phone calls, threats of legal action, and all sorts of harassment.
Sometimes the scammers will open with “Can you hear me?” For my wife, someone said her name twice in the form of a question. Instead of saying “yes”, she said “hello” and the person hung up. If you get a call from a number you do not recognize, and especially if the caller tries to get you to say the word “yes” when the call starts, assume they are a scammer.
Prevention is the best cure. Don’t answer unknown numbers. If the call is from someone legitimate, let them leave a voicemail.