Scam Alert

Fraudsters constantly develop new scams to steal money from consumers and violate their rights. Education and awareness are the best tools to combat consumer fraud.
Check this page regularly to learn about recent scams and how to avoid them.

“Can you hear me?” scam

February 9, 2017

The scam

You receive an unexpected call on your telephone. It’s a salesperson beginning their sales pitch. While they have your attention, the supposed salesperson stops and asks you “Can you hear me OK?” You answer “yes.” They hang up. They now have a recorded version of you saying “yes” which allows them to make purchases or other transactions using your actual voice.

The truth

Well, it’s not so simple in this case. While this “scam” is being reported by many news and consumer protection agencies, there are no confirmed reports of any actual victims.

Nevertheless, this newsworthy “scam” can teach consumers some important lessons about protecting your personal and financial information.

  • Use your phone wisely. If you are not expecting a call or receive a call early in the morning or late at night, let the call go to voicemail and screen the message.
  • If there’s an unusual pause between your greeting and the voice on the other end of a call, simply hang up. If a phone call is truly important, the caller will call you back and leave a message.
  • While a recording of you saying “yes” may or may not lead to unauthorized purchases, it certainly lets a telemarketer know that your phone number is active. You might wind up with more unwanted calls. You’re better off saying nothing and just hanging up.
  • If you are going to make a transaction over the phone, you make the call. Verify the number in a phone book or a company’s website so you know it’s a legitimate person on the other end.
  • Never agree to any deal, either on the phone, online or in person, without fully understanding the terms and conditions.
  • Always check your bank statements, credit card statements, and credit reports closely. If you see charges you did not make, act immediately.

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