Local residents are being warned about a phone scam where the Town of Smithfield’s name is being used. The scammers are also spoofing caller ID making it appear their telephone call originated from a Town of Smithfield phone number.
At least two of the bogus calls were received by local residents today (Thursday).
In the calls a person identifies herself as “Kim” and says she is a medical alert specialist with the Town of Smithfield. She then asks, “Can you hear me?”
To become a victim of the scam all you need to say is “Yes.”
Once the scammer has the word “yes” recorded in your voice, they use it to authorize unwanted charges to a credit card, cable, telephone account or subscriptions.
The caller identifies themselves and then asks can you hear them clearly. Once you say the word “yes” they will use the recorded one-word answer to sign you up for products or services you didn’t approve then they will demand payment. In most cases, they already have your phone number and personal information which they will use to authorize the charges to you.
When the victim disputes the charges to an account, the scammer counters with having your consent – the word “yes” – recorded on the phone.
Businesses were first targeted by the scam in 2017. Now consumers are the new target.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) estimates hundreds of thousands of the calls have been received across the US.
If you receive a phone call, the BBB suggests to hang up, even if you are unsure if the call is legitimate.