Phone Scammers Are Attacking New England With ‘Can You Hear Me?’
By saying "yes," you could be authorizing a purchase, according to the Better Business Bureau.
An unknown number pops up on your phone. If you're in business for yourself, you can't ignore the call. After all, the phone is a lifeblood of potential new business. Begrudgingly, you answer to a faint, slightly confused voice. After uttering a 'hello' or two, the person on the other side of the line answers with 'can you hear me?' It sounds like a scene straight out of a bad horror movie, but it's a real-life nightmare many end up experiencing if they respond with a simple, logical 'yes.' Truth is, you've just been scammed.
According to the Better Business Bureau, residents in Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont are targets of a telephone scam that has reappeared in the last month.
They wrote in a post "the way it works is you'll get a call from someone (many times automated) who tries to solicit you into saying “yes,” typically by asking “can you hear me?” They typically pretend to be with a company or department from an organization. For example, one scammer in a recent report from Massachusetts claimed to be from TripAdvisor, another said they were part of the “Rewards Department.”
Scammers might try to use this recording of you saying “yes” to authorize a purchase.
Even if you aren't charged right away, they might use your word against you later. Also, by answering the phone, you're potentially validating your number for other scams, according to the BBB.
Best practice? Don't answer unknown numbers.