New “can you hear me” scam is spreading so take caution

Security / Tech
can you hear me

The safest and easiest way to prevent this from happening is to simply not answer calls from unknown callers or numbers.

Hustlers, hackers, and scammers are trying any possible way to get ahold of your personal information and data, including personally calling you. There is a new “can you hear me” scam which Virginia police are warning people about. There was a similar “can you hear me” reported last year in Pennsylvania and if the trend continues it looks like it may spread. The goal of the scam is to get the target to answer the question with a “yes.” The response is recorded and then used to authorize unwanted charges on a variety of services and credit cards. Basically paying their bills with your money.

“You say ‘yes,’ it gets recorded and they say that you have agreed to something,” said Susan Grant, director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America. “I know that people think it’s impolite to hang up, but it’s a good strategy.”

The scarier thing is, if you do get one of these calls, you’re likely being targeted because the scammer already has information about you. This could be due to a security breach from your banking or credit institutions or even just the trash you throw out. If you happen to dispute the charge, the scammer has you recorded saying yes which they then use to prove you gave permission.

What can you do? If you suspect you have already been victimized, check your credit card, phone and cable statements carefully for any unfamiliar charges. Call the billing company — whether your credit card company or your phone provider — and dispute anything that you didn’t authorize on purpose. If they say you have been recorded approving the charge and you have no recollection of that, ask for proof.

The safest and easiest way to prevent this from happening is to simply not answer calls from unknown callers or numbers. It’s a pretty nasty scam and we hope authorities can find the criminals responsible for these scams.

If you do answer a call from an unfamiliar number, be skeptical of strangers asking questions that would normally elicit a “yes” response. The question doesn’t have to be “can you hear me?” It could be “are you the lady of the house?”; “do you pay the household telephone bills?”; “are you the homeowner?”; or any number of similar yes/no questions. A reasonable response to any of these questions is: “Who are you, and why do you want to know?”

What do you think of this latest scam? Have you been targetted with this scam yet? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

  Source: CBS
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