Scam Alert: Crooks are using new methods to separate you from your cash

Your cell phone rings.  You don’t recognize the number, but you answer it anyway.  Someone says, “Can you hear me?”

If you get that call, do not answer yes.  That simple ‘yes’ could mean a crook is about to go on a shopping spree with your cash.

Matt Ritter, senior vice president and chief information officer at Clear Lake Bank & Trust Company, explains the “say yes” scam is the latest to hit the phone lines and sadly the public is falling for it.

“Phone scams have been going on for a while, but we are seeing it more and more and want to do everything we can to educate people about the dangers out there,” said Ritter.  “The old saying holds true— if it’s sounds too good to be true, or if they are telling you that you have won a lottery or contest you never entered, it’s a scam.”

In the “say yes” scam, the caller will record the person saying yes and then splice the yes onto a sales pitch to prove a purchase was authorized.

Ritter said even he has received suspicious phone calls.

“I have stopped answering phone numbers I don’t know.  If the caller leaves a message, I’ll call back.  But chances are that a person working a scam won’t leave a message.”

At this time of year Ritter said it is common for phone scammers to claim to be from the Internal Revenue Service.

“They say you owe, and if you don’t pay you will be arrested,” he explained.  “They may ask you to buy gift cards and they will count

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