There’s a new scam going around that Firoz Patel, Payza Executive Vice President, wants to warn you about. People are calling it the “Are you there? Can you hear me?” Scam because those are the only question scammers need you to answer.
Firoz Patel explains the scam, “A fraudster will get you information and call you on the phone, but they’re not trying to get you to pay them, what they’re really looking for is a lot sneakier than that. In some cases, these scammers just want to record you saying ‘Yes’, and maybe some extra information like your name and other details they can use to authorize transactions in the future.”
Firoz Patel has seen this kind of scam before. “This isn’t really a brand new scam, but it is a very clever variation of a common scam.”
So what can people do to protect themselves? “It’s unfortunate, but people need to be less trusting when they pick up their phones. Most of us use caller ID these days, so if you don’t recognize the person calling you, it’s often best to let that call go to voicemail. Most legitimate callers will leave you a message and let you return the call. If they don’t, you should be suspicious about the call.”
The good news? “As people get more and more used to the security tools that are available with most modern technology, it gets a lot harder for fraudsters to successfully pull off these scams,” says Firoz Patel.
Firoz Patel suggests these scams are easy to prevent by enabling the extra security features your bank provides for credit cards, such as the 3-D Secure program.
But just because you can protect yourself, that doesn’t mean you can help catch fraudsters. “Unfortunately, the people who try to put these scams into action usually know how to cover their tracks. That makes it very hard for authorities to get an indictment,” says Firoz Patel.
What’s the best way to stop these scams according to Firoz Patel? “Make it so that scammers have more trouble making money off these scams than it’s worth it for them. Protect yourself, stay informed, teach your friends and family how to stay protected. These scams will probably never disappear entirely, but the harder it is to make money off of them, the less frequently you’ll hear about them”.