‘Can You Hear Me’ Phone Scam Draws Warning from Better Business Bureau
If you answer your phone and someone on the other end introduces themselves and then conversationally asks 'Can you hear me?', the Better Business Bureau(BBB) is advising folks that this could be a scam.
It's a natural process for folks to answer the supposedly innocent question with the response of 'Yes'. However, the Pittsburgh office of the BBB cautions that your 'yes' response could be the ticket that the scammer indirectly uses to run up 'approved' charges on your credit.
Here's how it works: You receive a recorded call from someone who provides an introduction and identifies the business or agency they supposedly represent. Recent scam reports identify the caller as being from a home security agency, a cruise line or associated with social security. After the introduction, the recording will ask if you can hear the caller clearly. If you answer "yes" there's a possibility that the scam artist behind the phone call has recorded you and will use your agreement to sign you up for a product or service and then demand payment. If you refuse, the caller may produce your recorded "yes" response to confirm your purchase agreement.
According to the BBB, this is not a new scam, however, until recently it has been directed toward businesses, but now more and more consumers are reporting the scam. It has also been reported that one of the questions the 'phisher' may ask is 'Would you like to be place on the no-call list?'. A yes response to this may also be recorded and then used to confirm your purchase agreement.
Even though the Pittsburgh office of the BBB has reported this scam on their website, the de-bunking website known as Snopes reports this scam as 'unproven'.