February 15th, 2020
Here we go again folks, another phone scam update for which we need to be diligently aware. Please share this article with all your friends and neighbors.
NEW SCAM Remember the old Verizon advertising line, “Can you hear me now?” Well, a new scam has risen called, “Can you hear me?” Currently it has been reported by law enforcement in Virginia and Pennsylvania. However, since California is the, “scam capitol” of the country, it will most likely end up here. The question, “Can you hear me” is aimed at getting unsuspecting victims to say, “yes”.
Consumer watchdog groups report that law enforcement and Better Business Bureaus are receiving consumer complaints, citing unsolicited automated calls from cruise lines, home security agencies, Social Security, and home improvement companies. The conversation starts out innocently enough – “Are you the lady of the house?”, “Are you the homeowner?”. “Do you pay the bills?” But many variations are being used in robocalls to get a consumer to engage and say, “yes”.
HI TECH PHONE SCAM
A recorded call could be setting you up to generate proof. After all, you said, yes” which indicates you signed up for a service. An officer with the Norfolk Police Dept. indicated, “That kind of warms you up, warning that those on the receiving end should hang up the phone immediately.” In many cases, scammers will play back a person’s verbal confirmation and threaten to take legal action if they try to deny the charges.
Many business owners report that callers try to verify the business’s address. The person confirms the address and says, “yes”, And suddenly, the business gets invoices for $599 for an “optimal search engine” service. The answer, “yes” by itself is not valuable enough for you to be defrauded. To cause real problems, scammers would need more data, such as matching lists of credit card information about you or other data, which is easy to get these days. Just as we’ve warned you to simply hit Delete when you get a spam e-mail that directs you to click on a link, we’re now warning you to just hang up on an unsolicited call that asks, “can you hear me?” or uses another question to solicit a “yes” answer.
Better yet, don’t even pick up the phone and give fraudsters hope that a live person might be on the other end of the line. If any residents get calls like this, please let us know so that we can notify the Sheriff’s Dept. and the resident.
Palos Verdes Estates Police Department: (310) 378-4211
Los Angeles County Sheriff: (310) 539-1661