The latest mobile phone scams are using a new twist. They are recording you voice when they prompt a response from you. The scammer asks you a question over the phone and your response is recorded.Your recorded response can then be used to make purchases.This style of scam was reported by Pennsylvania police late last year. Now, Virginia police are also discovering reports of victims of this same scam in their latest mobile phone scams.
Latest Mobile Phone Scams
Watch out for these mobile phone scams as well as others.
Can You Hear Me Scam
The phrase “can you hear me” is being reported on local news channels in Pennsylvania and Virginia. It may sound like a Verizon commercial, but unfortunately it is a scam.
People are being warned to be aware of this new version of last years scam. If anyone calls you and asks you a question of any type, do not give “yes or ok” as an answer. You are instructed to “just hang up”.
Once you give the “ok or yes”, scammers then tell you that you agreed to something. Your recorded voice is played back and they argue they have your recorded voice message as proof. The longer you talk, the more information they are going to try to get from you.
If you receive such a call, the scammer has your phone number and likely has more of your information. They could have a copy of one of your utility or credit card bills. So, don’t be foolish enough to give anything else they can use, like passwords or your social security number.
Check all your credit card statements carefully and report any fraudulent charges that appear on your bill.
If you have become a victim, then read what steps to take if you get scammed.You will find all the information on what to do and the numbers of people to contact for help. If you lose money in a scam, report it to the police and the FBI fraud division-IC3 the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Latest Mobile Phone Scams in Wisconsin
Wisconsin police have reported that utility scams are the latest mobile phone scams circulating in the New Richmond area. Residents have received phone calls stating their electric bills remain unpaid.
They are told they are in danger of having their electricity shut off, unless a payment is made immediately. To make a payment quickly, they are told to purchase gift cards locally. Then they are instructed to call back the employee and give the gift card numbers for payment.
These scammers identify themselves as utility employees to add credibility to the scam. People are reminded that legitimate businesses do not ask customers to use gift cards for payment. Do not be fooled.
Watch for Credit Card Skimmers
Credit card skimmers are also being used in stores and on gas pumps. Reports are circulating across the U.S. that people have had their numbers stolen.
Always look for security locks being in place before swiping your card. If any tampering is evident, pay inside and not at the pump.
Overpayment Check Scams
Authorities are also issuing an alert when selling items online. Scammers are buying items, then sending an over payment by check. Scammers then ask for a refund of the over payment amount be sent by gift card or money order.
The crook receives payment before the victim realizes the check has bounced. Always check to see that the check has properly cleared before issuing any refund to anyone. Be suspicious of payments over the price of the item sold.
Phone Scams Against Seniors
The Indiana Daily Student reported that in 2016 there were over 3700 reports of phone scams against seniors filed with the state Attorney Generals Office. That was only some of the overall scams. Many were likely never reported.
The majority were claims made by fake IRS agents, demanding money, and threatening jail time or some violence. When they show the victims home, using google search, they are convinced it’s real.
Seniors are easy prey because they answer the phone, and are polite. They don’t tend to be rude, while their younger counterparts will let calls go without answering.
A majority of the scam calls have historically originated in India. In October a crackdown closed a major call center, drastically reducing the calls being reported.70 people were arrested.The ring had reportedly netted 100 million from Americans since 2013
The IRS Will Never Call You
The IRS will never call you, they notify you by mail. You will never be threatened of being arrested or asked to pay over the phone. So, you would never be asked for credit card numbers by the IRS.They will not call you asking for additional information, such as your social security number. If someone calls asking for this information, it is a scam. Hang up!
The Anti-Spoofing Act Targets Fake Caller ID Phone Calls
The Anti-Spoofing Act is a new bill is being introduced by New York Congresswoman Grace Meng. It’s purpose is to crack down on fake caller Id’s from outside the U.S.. Currently, it is illegal to use spoofing or fake caller Id’s in the U.S.
But, it is not illegal from outside the country, or using a text. It happens when someone calls you or sends a text, and a fake caller ID is displayed. The reason is so they can hide their identity or country of origin, and trick you into answering.
However, this new bill will change all that. It would make it illegal for someone outside the U.S. to call you and display a fake number to trick you.
Mostly, the bill is symbolic, but it is a step in the right direction.It does not mean that everyone is immediately going to be arrested, but now you have legal rights to sue people who scam you.
If the text or phone call leads to a loss, and the scammers have any assets in the U.S., they could be seized in any lawsuit won. This bill has passed the House in Washington, and moves onto the Senate.
With current federal law now insuring correct numbers in most cases, the Anti-Spoofing law expands the law to include other countries and texting. This helps to protect all of us, and should reduce those annoying calls and texts we get.
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