Beware of 'Can you hear me?' scam

Posted at 12:10 PM, Jan 27, 2017

If you answer the phone and hear someone ask, "Can you hear me?" - think twice before responding because it could be a scam.

It starts with a call from someone who claims they represent a business.  According to recent scam reports to the Better Business Bureau, the caller says they are with a home security agency, a cruise line or associated with Social Security.

After introducing themselves, the caller will ask if you can hear them clearly. If you answer "yes", there's a possibility that the scammer has recorded you and will sign you up for a product or service, then demand to be paid.  If you refuse, the scammer may play back your recorded "yes" response to confirm your agreement to the purchase.

The Better Business Bureau has the following advice regarding the "Can you hear me?" scam:

  • 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 to press a button to be placed on the Do Not Call Registry, just hang up. Saying anything or pressing buttons when prompted may help the scammers 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 Trackerand the FTC's Do Not Call List

The Better Business Bureau says check your account statements frequently in the event you do fall for a similar scam or provide personal information during an unsolicited phone call.  The earlier you identify unauthorized charges on your accounts, the easier it will be to recover any lost money.