Latest scam aims to get victims to say ‘yes’
SUBLETTE COUNTY — How you respond to two simple yes or no questions when the phone rings with a scammer on the other end of the line could be the difference between having your personal accounts hacked and keeping your finances secure. The latest scam circulating both locally and around the United States, according to the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO), begins with the caller asking, “Can you hear me?” Then, the caller tries to confirm, “Is this (insert name)?” Next, the caller hangs up and the damage begins to unfold.
Scammers use a recording of the affirmative responses in attempts to authorize unwanted charges on the victim’s personal accounts.
The Federal Trade Commission has warned about the so-called “Can you hear me?” scams since 2017.
If you or someone you know has received such a call and already responded, the SCSO urges you to review all your statements from your bank, credit card lender and telephone company for unauthorized charges.
Anyone who believes they have been targeted by this scam should report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission Report Fraud Center at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/.
Social media ‘swatting scams’
Sublette County residents have notified the sheriff’s office through calls and tags on social media about bad actors posting swatting scams in the local Post it - Sell it in Sublette County public Facebook group. The original posters use fake Facebook profiles to share photos of elderly people, young children, pets or other vulnerable individuals in potentially dangerous situations in an effort to distract first responders with cases that don’t exist.
One recent post from the user Hilda J. Walters states, “URGENT - MISSING!” and includes the hashtag #SubletteCounty followed by “My uncle Mr. Martin Jones aged 79 drove out yesterday without our dog Baxter and he hasn’t returned. He doesn’t know where he’s going, he has dementia. There is a silver alert activated on him. Please help me bump this post so I can get him home safely.”
Another post purports to depict a missing child with autism and a family dog who are lost in Sublette County. Neither post is legitimate and both are intended to send first responders to an emergency or event that doesn’t exist in order to tie up resources.