There are a number of things that annoy cell phone owners, such as surprise charges, apps that use a ridiculous amount of data, and the ever annoying telemarketers. Along these lines, there are a number of citizens around the nation that receive calls from scammers. None of these can burn a hole in your wallet as much as the “Can you hear me?” calls.
Spam callers are like kiosk workers at the mall; no matter how hard you try to avoid them, they always find a way to waste your time. Many times these spammers will tell you that you won something, or that you are in trouble of some kind. They will tell you that you need to give them personal information in order to move on in the process of either receiving your reward or dealing with your issue. With the information that they are given, they will find many different ways to exploit your information, such as signing you up for different things and making charges to your credit or debit cards. The “Can you hear me?” spam callers a simpler tactic to get your information, though. They are able to use the word “Yes” to exploit you.
When these spam callers target your phone number, they will call you from an area code that resembles your own. This will make you more likely to answer your phone. After you answer your phone, a person will tell you their name and will ask you if you can hear them. This is where they get you. Our natural response is to say “Yes”. The scammers record your reply and use audio editing technology for their own purposes.
In order to get a better understanding of how telemarketing and scam calling works, a Tiger Media Network reporter spoke with an employee of a telemarketing business service, Telecontact Resource Services, under the guise of a new business owner. The telemarketer told them, “We are able to contact individuals in the area that you are interested in doing business in, with a list of phone numbers that we get from outside businesses. When we contact them, we generate a phone number with an area code that matches the area. When we call them, we will use automated messages first, in order to know if the number on our list is actually working. When we know it works, we will call them with a live representative, usually on the following Saturday.” When asked where they receive the list of phone numbers, the employee told us that, “We get our lists from businesses, mostly. A large contributor to our listings is Experian.” Experian, a global consumer and business credit reporting and marketing service, uses the information that it gathers from its clients and sells it to other companies.
The Telecontact employee also told us that, “The ‘Can you hear me?’ spammers are called ‘bot-callers’ and, more than likely, use the same lists that we use.” That means that businesses, like Experian, sell your information to the spam callers, in order to potentially fiscally ruin you.
So, what can you do in order to prevent this sort of disaster? The employee at Telecontact mentioned that “There is a ‘do not contact’ list, created by the FCC that legally prevents companies from calling the numbers.” It can be accessed here:
The FCC also says that cell phone apps can be a cause of spam callers getting your number. If your flashlight app needs access to your contact list, it is going to send companies your contacts information. They go on to say, “You need to read the terms and conditions closely, in order to know what your app is doing.”
For TMN, I am Kraig Pierce.