I've often said that if criminals would put as much ingenuity and effort into legitimate pursuits as they do into nefarious schemes, they would be successful businessmen.

A buddy of mine grew up in a rough neighborhood where many of his friends have grown up to be petty criminals who've spent their lives in and out of jail.  When he asked them why they don't just get a regular job, they said it was too boring.  They loved the thrill they felt when trying to outwit marks and legal authorities.  In fact, they enjoyed the adrenaline rush so much that it became an addiction.

Today, one of the most popular cons is the telephone scam.   You've probably heard about the "Yes" phone scam that surfaced in March of this year.  It became such a problem that the FCC released a press release warning consumers of the scam.  This ingenious con begins the second a person answers their phone.  A voice on the other end of the line will say, "Can you hear me?"  According to the FCC, "The caller then records the consumer's 'Yes' response and thus obtains a voice signature. This signature can later be used by the scammers to pretend to be the consumer and authorize fraudulent charges via telephone."   The FCC advised the public to immediately hang up if they received this type of call and if they thought they had answered "Yes" to any calls in the past to keep an eye out for fraudulent purchases on any of their accounts.

Today there's a new phone swindle floating around called the "*72 Scam".  ScamBusters.org got wind of this scam from a man in Sioux Falls, SD.  He received a call on his cell phone informing him that a member of his family had died.  The caller then told him to call another number where someone else could give him more details.  The caller said that the man should dial *72 and then the number.  What this does is transfers all calls received by the cell phone to the scammer's number.  The scammer then gives the cell phone number to people he knows, anywhere in the world, who can call him through your cell number and you pick up the charges.

They say forewarned is forearmed, so beware of this latest ruse by unscrupulous predators.  And before hanging up on one of these scammers, you might tell them, "Get a job!"  (Never hurts to try, right?)

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