A new scam reported by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could be stealing from you over the phone. These thieves aren’t taking possessions though, they are taking your voice!
The scam begins as soon as the phone is answered. Many times, it will sound as though someone is far away from the phone, and then a recorded voice will ask “Can you hear me?”
For most people, the natural thing to do is respond, “yes”. As soon as this happens the scammers have you, according to the FCC.
“The caller then records the consumer’s ‘Yes’ response and thus obtains a voice signature. This signature can later be used by the scammers to pretend to be the consumer and authorize fraudulent charges via telephone,” the FCC reported in a news release.
The fake callers have been reported impersonating common service providers, “such as a mortgage lender or utility, to establish a legitimate reason for trying to reach the consumer,” the news report said.
The FCC is urging for people who receive this kind of call to hang up immediately.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai reported on this “explosion” of robocalls. He discovered that American consumers received about 230 robocalls per household in 2016. With these dangers increasing daily, what is a person supposed to do to avoid all of it?
No, don’t do that. Thankfully, the FCC gave a few tips to help:
• Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.
• If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents.
• If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC so we can help identify and take appropriate action to help consumers targeted by illegal callers.
• Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC’s website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls.
• Consider registering all of your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry
If you have received one of these calls already, keep a close eye on all of your financial statements and report any unauthorized changes immediately. Always be cautious and aware of these potential dangers, threats are only a phone call away. Please share to help raise awareness of this horrible scam!