Can You Hear Me Phone Scam

Posted by Admin on July 9, 2019

Over the last few years there has been a massive increase in a strange scam that involves getting a call from an unknown number and being asked, "Can you hear me?" when you answer. Since it is normal for people to trustingly just say "Yes," when such a question is asked, this particular scam is even more dangerous than some more blatant attempts as you may have just given accidental permission for all sorts of fraudulent activity!

How The Scam Works?

These calls are usually recorded but it is hard to tell at first. Sometimes the operator will sound friendly or inexperienced with the equipment to allay suspicions before asking that seemingly innocuous question or pretending to be a survey asking if you own your home or if you work. Whatever the question, it always comes to the moment where they try to get you to say "Yes."

The point of it is to be able to record your answer so it can then be used as a voice authorization by the scammer for any number of phone purchases. It can cause doubt on the validity of your charge dispute because it is after all your voice agreeing to something, be it a credit card charge or just to sign you up for random items and offers so the scammer can quasi-legitimately collect on referral fees.

How To Avoid This Scam

The online fact-checking site Snopes does not list any conclusive proof that the "Can You Hear Me?" scam has cost anyone directly but there is speculation that the voice recording is being used in conjunction with information already in the possession of the scammer, such as credit card numbers or other personal identifying data, to further validate whatever the scammer wants to use it for.

While this particular scam doesn't show a direct link to credit card fraud, it is safest to be aware of the potential dangers and use all prudent ways to avoid becoming a victim. Never answer calls from unknown numbers. Let unknown calls go to voicemail to see if it is something you might want to investigate and use a reverse phone number lookup tool to see if it already has reported scam activity. Most importantly, be on guard with any call asking questions and just hang up.

Always check your credit card and bank statements for any unauthorized charges and be very quick to contest items you do not recognize as there is usually a time limit on challenging them. Help spread the word among your friends and acquaintances so that everyone knows to resist the urge to just say "Yes!"

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