Chief Domenic J. DiMella
27 Hamilton Street
Saugus, MA 01906
For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Saugus Police Warn Residents About New Telephone Scam
SAUGUS — Chief Domenic DiMella and the Saugus Police Department are warning residents about a new telephone scam being used to target victims and facilitate fraudulent charges.
The scam begins when a victim answers a call and the person at the end of the line asks, “Can you hear me?” The caller then records the consumer’s “yes” response and obtains a voice signature. This signature can later be used by scammers to authorize fraudulent charges via telephone acting as the victim.
According to complaints made to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the fraudulent callers might impersonate representatives from organizations that may be familiar to the victim, such as a mortgage lender or utility, to establish a reason for trying to reach the person receiving the call.
If you receive this type of call, immediately hang up. If you have already responded to this type of call, review all of your bank, credit card and telephone company statements for any unauthorized charges.
“Scammers are always coming up with new ways to target people, and unfortunately this is the latest method they’re using to con victims,” Chief DiMella said. “The best thing to do if you get a call from a number you don’t recognize is to not answer it. If someone needs to get in touch with you they will leave a voicemail.”
To avoid falling victim to these telephone scams, Saugus Police recommend that residents follow these tips outlined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
- Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.
- If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents.
- If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC.
- Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. You can also visit the FCC’s website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls.
- Consider registering all of your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry. Access the registry online or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
These scams can also be reported to the FTC at 877-382-4357. Anyone who has questions, concerns, or believes they are the victim of a scam is asked to contact the Saugus Police Department at 781-233-1740.