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Your phone rings and an unknown number is displayed? Be suspicious. A scam from the United States has recently appeared in Europe. The alert came from Germany via the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer association. The scam is rather easy to pull off. at first glance but can have significant financial consequences, especially if you panic! Scammers simply rely on the very simple answers and sentences that you can make on the phone when responding to them.

The subterfuge begins with a call from an unknown number. When you respond, the fraudster, under the guise of innocent verification, asks basic questions such as "Can you hear me?" or "Are you the owner?". Everything then depends on your answer. You probably don't know it, but you are being recorded. These questions seem harmless, but they hide malicious intent. The goal is to make you say “yes”, a word which, once recorded, becomes a real tool of manipulation.

The trap closes quickly. Scammers record this part of the conversation and manipulate it to give the impression that you have spent time in the conversation. an order over the phone. A member of the Techbook team in Germany was appointed. targeted by a call from Brussels, which lasted only only a few seconds. This case is not isolated. across the Rhine. Many similar testimonies have been given. shared on online platforms such as spamcalls.net, which specialize in identifying fraudulent call numbers.

In many cases, the unpleasant surprise arrived a few days later in the mailbox: an exorbitant bill. Scammers can then put pressure on you by insisting that you say “yes”. recorded during the alleged order. In Germany, some victims claim to have been threatened with violence. to be registered for a file of bad payers or to have their file entrusted to a collection agency. Some even received an immediate call back after declining. to answer with a "yes". They were threatened with a fine of 125 euros for interrupting the call! A threat to life barely veiled but obviously without foundation which does not aim at that'à make you panic.

In France, there are some precautions but also protections for the consumer. The law normally requires you to stipulate that a conversation is recorded, often through an automatic message which most often specifies “You can be registered”. Acceptance of an offer during a cold calling telephone call must be followed by physical proof, for example receipt of the offer. an order confirmation letter, by letter or by email. Only after signing it that you are committed to according to article L. 221-16 of the Consumer Code. You also have 14 days of withdrawal rights.

Some advice is available. call back to protect yourself. Always be skeptical of unknown callers and avoid answering with a “yes”, even at first glance. seemingly harmless questions. If someone asks you "Can you hear me well?", answer like this instead " I can hear you perfectly" that "yes". Avoid giving out personal information. If the call seems suspicious, the best defense is to hang up.

What to do if you think you've been phoned. victim of this scam? It is crucial not to give in to this. the panic. Check for written evidence of the alleged order and do not sign anything under pressure. Above all, you should not pay the invoice received. Finally, in case of doubt or pressure, do not hesitate to ask. contact a consumer association or the police for help.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116