Your BBB® wants to warn everyone that the “Can you hear me scam?” is now spreading from Florida to Pennsylvania and Virginia and possibly the rest of the country.
Here’s how the scammers operate: you will get a call from an unknown number (a familiar area code). When you answer it, a person or a recording will introduce themselves and their business, to gain your trust. Immediately after that, they will ask “Can you hear me?”. The natural response is to say “Yes”, “Of course”, etc. And here’s a quick reminder: automated responses or robot recordings are illegal, according to the FTC.
Authorities advise everyone to hang up immediately without answering that question! Police say scammers record your response and sometimes use it to make it seem like you agreed to make payments for bogus services, as shown in this BBB article.
According to CBS News, they can also use your voice recording to authorize charges on a stolen credit card.
“A lot of times, victims do not want to come forward because they are embarrassed. They feel like, ‘It was my fault. I should have known better,’ and they are just embarrassed by it all together. So we do not get a whole lot of reports, unfortunately,” says Officer Jo Ann Hughes with the Norfolk Police Department.
Here’s how to avoid this scam altogether:
- Don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number.
- Never give out your personal information via phone.
- Don’t confirm your number over the phone.
- Don’t answer any questions over the phone if you don’t know who the caller is.
Stay informed and protect your data!
For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/Evansville!