Telemarketers are no stranger to the most of us. I in fact worked as a telemarketer for several years as a part-time job, while finishing off my studies, so I actually feel for them as I know how hard it can be to pick up the phone and call total strangers non-stop – for hours.
So when I get a call now, I am always very gracious. Still, there are some telemarketers that, truth be told, make us feel like they not only don’t deserve graciousness, they deserve a kick in the butt!
Others, as this story reveals, deserve jail time.
If you pick up the phone and the first thing you hear is someone with a bad connection who asks these four words: “Do you hear me?” then beware.
Experts warn that you should definitely not respond, and instead hang up. It is most likely a fraudster.
Several cases have been noted by the Federal Communications Commission, the National Authority FCC, the organizations in in charge of telephone traffic in the United States. They are now warning that such calls are spreading to Canada, Germany and other European countries.
The fraudsters record the brief conversation in which they try to get you to say the word “yes”. Once they have your voice saying this word, they can use it as a voice signature to make verbal agreements without your knowledge, writes AWM.
ABC News has previously reported about one such victim, 49-year-old Teresa Thomas from Minneapolis.
“The person on the other line sounded like a young woman,” Teresa told ABC News. “She was giggling and she said: ‘Oh, I didn’t expect you to pick up! Can you hear me?’” Thomas said. “Which, of course, if someone asks if you can hear them, I said the logical thing and I said ‘Yes.’ And she proceeded to talk.”
In worst case scenarios, the scammers can access personal bank account information.
Authorities are warning about this new scam and have suggest the following tips to help protect yourself:
• Do not answer when a number you do not recognize calls. If the call is important, they will leave a voicemail.
• If you answer and the caller asks you to use your phone keypad, do not.
• If you receive a call that you suspect as being a fraud, write down the number and report it to the police.
Please do share this warning with your family and friends on Facebook so that everyone is aware of this scam!