“Can you hear me?” is the newest telephone scam and is causing a lot of stir-up all across the nation. The scam has been reported in New York, Idaho, Florida, Wisconsin, Virginia and more states to come.
The scammer will first ask “Can you hear me?” Unsuspecting callers will then answer “yes.” Once the scammer has your recording of your voice saying “yes”, they will generally then say you have agreed to purchase some sort of product. If you refuse, they will threaten legal charges. In some cases, the scammer will say, “Sorry, my headset must have fallen off.” Directly after, they will hang up. If you get one of these calls the best thing to do is hang up. However, be aware that the other end is not a real caller. If a caller asks, “Are you a robot?” the scammer will laugh and say, “I’m a real person.” The majority of these calls are from a sales department, consumer department, or other type sales pitch. The tricky part is that the caller I.D. is shown from the same area.
However, is this scam legitimate? One would think that it is tough to make charges to a credit card or bills without knowing a person’s social security number, address, and other personal information. Generally, scammers get people’s phone numbers from their phone companies’ third party affairs. Many companies sell your information to other companies. Take Google for example; if you Google “Bikes”, when you log into Gmail, you will have advertisements for buying a new bike. This is the same with phone companies; they sell your number to their third party companies. There have been no reported cases of actual loss or fraudulent charges, but these calls are real and people have reported calls. It is best to be cautious and hang up when you get these calls. Do not take a chance to mess with the scammer. Even asking certain questions can trigger cues for the bot. If you receive one of these calls, report it to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Tracking the numbers will lead to a bust in the scam. It is interesting to note that robot calls can string words together to find your information.
Again, it’s best not answer the phone, but if you do receive one of these calls and answer, hang up. Remember, phone scammers are always becoming smarter and smarter. Always be cautious of answering phone calls from numbers you do not know.