"Can You Hear Me?": Phone Scam Overview
You may have heard of peculiar scam in which you'll get a call from an unknown number and the caller will ask "Can you hear me?" The immediate reaction most people have is to say "yes," however by saying yes you may be signing yourself up for a costly service.
We'll go over the "Can you hear me?" phone scam and how you can protect yourself from it.
How Does the "Can You Hear Me?" Scam Work?
This phone scam starts out with a call from an unknown number. When you answer the call the caller will ask you if you can hear them. When you answer "yes" the call will end. The question asked can sometimes vary and the caller may ask you if you're a homeowner, or if you work. What is universal among these calls is that the caller will make you say "yes."
The FCC reported that the "yes" answer that you give to the scammer, will later be used as verbal authorization of fraudulent charges to your credit card or bank account. There are many examples of this scam reported in our reverse lookup phone book:
(309) 220-9169: Are you there scam whereif you answer yes they sign you up for random stuff
(901) 310-2765: Recording about "warranty" that asks "can you hear me ok". Do not answer "yes" or they record your answer and use it to purchase unauthorized items. When I called the number back, the recording said "the survey you were called for is now finished". Then the call starts breaking up... SCAM!
(386) 515-7009: Do not say Yes on any calls! If they ask if you can hear them, just hang up! Once you say "yes", they use it as approval for any fraudulent charges.
How to Avoid This Scam
Snopes, the online fact checker, couldn't find any evidence of actual reports of money being stolen from anyone as a result of this phone scam. You should still be cautious of this scam. Here are a couple of ways you can protect yourself:
Don't answer calls from unknown numbers.
If you get a call from an unknown number let it go to voicemail. Afterwards you can run a reverse phone lookup on the number to see who it belongs to and check for suspicious behavior reports.
Hang up on callers who are phishing for information.
If a caller is asking questions as soon as you pick up just hang up. This is especially true if the caller is starting to ask for personal information.
What to Do if You've Been Targeted
The best thing to do if you've been targeted by this scam is to spread awareness about it and check your monthly credit card and bank statements for any unauthorized charges.