“Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
In the “Can You Hear Me?” phone scam, a victim receives a call from a scammer claiming to be with a company or a government agency. After introducing themselves, the scammer will ask “can you hear me?,” and the victim’s “yes” response will be recorded and used as proof of verbal consent to authorize purchases.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) issued a credible warning about the “Can You Hear Me?” phone scam on January 27, 2017.
The BBB warning said that there were scattered reports of the “Can You Hear Me” phone scam toward the end of 2016. But instances of the scam seemed to be on the rise throughout January 2017. The scam is a relatively simple one, and it works like this:
You receive a recorded call from someone who provides an introduction about a business or agency they supposedly represent. Scam reports have indicated that the callers have represented themselves as being from various companies, such as a home security agency, a cruise line or sometimes from the government. After the introduction, the recording will ask if you can hear the caller clearly.
If you answer “yes” there’s a possibility that the scam artist behind the phone call has recorded you and will use your agreement to sign you up for a product or service and then demand payment. If you refuse, the caller may produce your recorded “yes” response to confirm your purchase agreement.
There are other ways scammers might get you to say yes such as:
• Are you the homeowner?
• Are you over 18?
• Do you pay the household bills?
• Do you have a home computer?
Keep in mind, a scammer may already have gotten their hands on some of your personal information, such as credit card numbers, which they can use in tandem with your recorded affirmation to push through charges.
The best way to protect yourself from the scam is to avoid answering calls from unfamiliar numbers, to not respond to yes or no questions from unknown callers, to never give out or confirm personal information over the phone, and to contact your bank and credit card companies if you feel that you might have fallen victim to the scam.
It’s not clear how many people have been impacted by the “Can You Hear Me?” phone scam, but given the BBB’s credibility, warnings about the scam should be taken seriously.