Swansea Council on Aging

Committed to helping Swansea's seniors

Can you hear me?  "YES" Scam 

WARNING: Do not answer a phone call from 401-735-1901. This is one of those calls that seeks to obtain your voice saying "Yes". The caller (a female) pretends to have difficulty hearing you and says "I'm sorry - Are you still there?" Once you say "YES" they will attempt to use the recording against you. Some say the recording of your voice can be used to commit fraud. Even if the scammer doesn't use your "yes" answer to attempt to sign you up for an unwanted service or product, your "yes" can still be valuable because just by answering you have proven that your phone number is active and that you will answer calls from unknown numbers. The scammer can then turn around and sell your number and others as sales leads to other solicitors of questionable repute. The lesson here - If you don't recognize the number, DON'T ANSWER. If it's valid caller, they will leave you a message.

Grandparent Scam

The "Grandparent Scam" scores among those at the top of the list for cruelty because it plays on the emotions and fears of seniors.  Grandchildren tug at the heart strings of every grandparent.  So when you get a call from someone claiming to be your grandchild and they ask for your help because they're in trouble, of course your protective instincts kick into gear and you'll do whatever they ask to help.  That's what this scam artist is literally "BANKING" on.  They will tell you they're in trouble, they've been wrongfully arrested or a number of other frightening tales and they need your help.  You need to wire money immediately to help them.  DON'T DO IT!  It's not your grandchild.  If you have doubts, ask for a phone number to call them back.  Call your grandchild or their father/mother to confirm they are ok.  DO NOTHING until you can confirm what the caller is saying.  We know it's difficult but remember, that's what this scam artist is counting on.  CLICK HERE to learn more about this scam and how it works.

Microsoft Tech Support Scam

Cybercriminals don't just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites. They might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:

  • Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.

  • Convince you to visit legitimate websites (like www.ammyy.com) to download software that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.

  • Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.

  • Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.

Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.  HANG UP!

(This information has been provided by Microsoft's Safety and Security)

IRS Scam Alert

An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. 
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information. 

If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.

Note that the IRS will never: 1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill; 2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; 3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card; 4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or 5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

(This information has been provided by the IRS Tax Scams & Consumer Alerts)