“Can you hear me” phone scam could make you a victim with one word

Arlington County, VA – The Better Business Bureau is warning the public of a phone scam where simply uttering the word “yes” can really cost you.

The “can you hear me” scam has historically been directed toward businesses, but now consumers are reporting the phone scam to the BBB.

This is how the scam works—you receive a recorded call from someone who claims to represent a business or agency. After the recorded introduction, the recording asks if you hear the caller clearly. If you say “yes”, that may be all the scammer needs.

According to the BBB, the scammer may have recorded you and will use the “yes” to sign you up for a product or service then demand payment. If you refuse, the caller may play the recorded “yes” to confirm your purchase agreement.

The BBB has the following advice:

  • If you receive an unsolicited robocall from an organization or business, just hang up. If you are on the Do Not Call List and a company calls out of the blue to ask questions, it’s likely a scam. Avoid responding with “yes, sure or ok.”
  • If you are asked a similar question in a phone call or are asked to press a button to be placed on the Do Not Call Registry, just hang up the phone. Saying anything or pressing buttons when prompted may help the scam artists identify that you have an active phone number. Remember that no government agency will ever solicit for the Do Not Call Registry.
  • Write down the phone number of those callers violating the Do Not Call Registry and file a scam report with BBB Scam Tracker and the FTC’s Do Not Call List. Remember that Pennsylvania’s wiretapping law is a “two-party consent” law, making it a crime to intercept or record a telephone call or conversation unless all parties to the conversation consent.

For more tips on identifying and avoiding scams, visit http://www.bbb.org.

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