As weird as it sounds, this is one of the most highly reported scams.

Who Is It Targeting: Phone users

What Is It: A spoofing/extortion scam in which the caller records your voice and changes the questions

What Are They After: As bizarre as it sounds, this scam is currently one of the most highly reported scams to the BBB’s Scam Tracker. Even stranger, there’s a new twist on it that can cost you big. By asking a simple question, “Can you hear me?” callers are able to record your voice answering “yes,” then use that against you.

That recording supposedly is enough justification for them to charge you large amounts of money on your credit card or bill you for expensive items. The new version reportedly comes from scammers claiming to be with popular travel review site Trip Advisor, with your simple response being used to bill you for high-dollar vacation packages.

When you try to dispute the charges, the caller plays back the recording of your answer, only this time it’s superimposed on the bogus question, “Do you agree to the following charges?” They threaten you with legal action and even criminal action if you still refuse to pay.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • Don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number. If it’s important, they’ll leave a message.
  • If someone tries to ask this question, have some fun by replying, “I hear you just fine.”
  • Remember, a recorded word is not justification for booking a travel vacation. Without signed documents to prove it, you didn’t enter into a contract.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam check out this article from Better Business Bureau.