The calls to my cell phone began innocently enough with an upbeat friendly voice on the other end. “Can you hear me?” “I just dropped my headset, hold on a minute, can you hear me now?” The voice on the line didn’t sound like a polished telemarketer. The woman of the other end spoke prefect English and sounded more like one of my friends. When the caller id showed a neighboring town, I didn’t hesitate to pick up. Was I ever fooled!
Welcome to the Just Say “YES” Scam!
The answer the con-artist was looking for was “yes.” She had hope to record my verbal consent to bill me for a cruise that I never booked or for an unauthorized bogus charge on my credit card. How did she get this information? Most likely it was through one of the many data-breaches that seem to be occurring weekly. Of course, I could dispute the charge, but my recording of saying “yes” would be used as evidence that I in fact had agreed to the charge. Her goal was to confuse me or scare into paying.
In the past weeks I have received at least seven of these calls. After doing some research, I discovered that some of the local numbers were actually landlines with people’s names (id spoofing). Now, if I don’t recognize the number on the caller id, I don’t pick up. I figure that if it’s that important, the caller will undoubtably leave me a message. And whenever possible, I use my iPhone carrier’s robocall blocking service. If perchance I do pick up, I am alert enough to never use the word”yes” and hang up immediately. Of course, it goes without saying, I’ve been on high alert, checking my bank and credit card accounts daily to make sure there are no unexpected charges. I’ve also issued a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
In my case, I was told that I was being called because of a past resort I had visited. At that point, it was evident that I had been duped and promptly hung up. Still, every week it seems there is a new ingenious scam that is reaching us by phone, email, text, or mail. Bottom line? Never give out personal information, and don’t hesitate to report anything suspicious to the Attorney General’s Office or Federal Trade Commission. And try not to say “yes.”