Callers in the Racine area are beginning to report signs of an automated fraud targeting residents through robocalls, according to the Racine Police Department.

The new phone scam starts with a call from an unknown number. When an unwitting victim answers the call, an automated voice asks them a simple yes or no question.

“The caller’s goal is to get the person who answers to instinctively say “yes” to their question,” according to a press release from Sandra Guile, a community outreach specialist at the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau (BBB).

If the respondent replies “yes,” a recording of their voice is used to charge large purchases to their phone.

No information has been released about where the calls are coming from.

Reports indicate that the call may include fumbling or background noise to make the robo call sound like a real person on the other end, Guile wrote.

Reports of these types of phone scams are on the rise. The BBB recommends not picking up calls from unknown numbers, or hanging up immediately if the other end asks a yes or no question first thing after you answer.

It may feel impolite to do so, but it could keep you from being charged for big-ticket items or agreeing to sign up for a monthly service unknowingly,” Guile wrote.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.