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A New Phone Scam Wants to know: Can You Hear Me?

Phone scams are age old and have claimed many victims over the years. A new scam, however, is using your just one word to make you a victim. Recently, the “Can you hear me” phone scam has begun to grow.

When you answer the phone, the automation on the other end goes through an introduction which provides the identity of a business or agency. After the introduction, the automated voice will ask you if you can hear. This is where the scam comes in.

If you say “yes”, the person on the other end may be recording you. Once they have your affirmation, they can use this to sign you up for products or services without your knowledge and badger you to pay. If you deny payment, they can use your “yes” affirmation as confirmation of agreed purchase.

So how do you avoid getting trapped up in scams like this one? Here are a few tips from the Better Business Bureau:

  • Hang up to any unsolicited calls. If you know you’re on the Do Not Call list and you get a call from an unfamiliar company, it is more than likely a scam.
  • Always avoid using answers like “sure”, “okay”, or “yes.”
  • If you’re prompted to press a button to place your number on the Do Not Call list, hang up. This is how scammers locate active phone numbers and will prompt more calls. Government agencies will not submit a Do Not Call registry.
  • Make note of the phone number and file a scam report with the BBB Scam Tracker and the FTC’s Do Not Call list.

Writing down the number doesn’t always prove helpful. Scammers have ways around caller IDs. However, many states have laws against recording someone without their knowledge. California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, and New Hampshire all have laws against recording someone without their consent.

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