Can You Hear Me? Scam

If an unknown caller ever asks if you can hear them, hang up immediately.

Who Is It Targeting: Phone users 

What Is It: A voice recording scam 

What Are They After: This one is so ridiculously easy to pull off, mostly because it seems so harmless. If you ever receive a phone call from an unknown caller that begins with something like, “Can you hear me?” or “Have I reached the owner of this phone number?” you might be setting yourself up for a scam. 

By getting you to answer yes to that one question at the very beginning of the call—as opposed to somewhere in the middle of the conversation, where dubbing would be more obvious—scammers can record your affirmative answer and use it as a claim that you authorized charges on your credit card, that you agreed to sign up for an expensive subscription service, or another contractual answer. When you try to fight the charges, they’ve got a recording of you agreeing to the charges and use that to threaten you. 

How Can You Avoid It:

  • If you don’t recognize the caller’s number, you’re free not to answer. Any important news will be left in your voicemail.
  • If you feel like the caller is phrasing her questions to get you to respond with a “yes,” it might be a scam.
  • Even in typical calls, you can avoid this danger by rephrasing how you answer; instead of saying, “Yes,” you could say, “I hear you just fine,” or “I’m the account holder on this phone.” 

If You Fall For It: 

  • If you think you may have fallen victim to this scam, contact the ITRC at 888.400.5530 for next steps
  • Report the scam on the Better Business Bureau's 'Scam Tracker': https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us/
  • Check your credit card, phone and other account statements for any suspicious activity

For full details of this scam check out this article from the Better Business Bureau.


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