*New Phone Scam Latches onto the Phrase, “Can You Hear Me?”

TechViews News   …..

“Can you hear me, now?” was the tag line in a popular commercial for Verizon Communications a few years ago. Now, that tag line has become the bait for a quickly spreading phone scam. According to investigators, DO NOT answer this simple question from a phone number you do not know.

Originating in Virginia, the question is aimed at getting unsuspecting victims to say “yes”. The fraudster is actually recording your voice giving that affirmative answer as a way to authorize charges on a phone, utility or credit card bill.

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

In Pittsburg, the local office of the BBB reported that it was receiving consumer complaints, citing unsolicited automated calls from “an employee” of a home security agency, cruise line, or social security firm.

In those phone calls, scammers were using phrases like, “Are you the lady of the house?”; “Do you pay the household telephone bills?”; or “Are you the homeowner?”

Similar calls are now being reported in Virginia — with criminals asking the question, “Can you hear me?”

With a generic question like that it is easy to continue the conversation without knowing you are being scammed. If you get a call from someone you don’t know, and you get asked a question requiring “Yes” as the answer, immediately hang up.

“A lot of times, victims do not want to come forward because they are embarrassed”, continues Grant. “They feel like, ‘It was my fault. I should have known better,’ and they are just embarrassed by it all together. So as with many crimes of this nature, most of these crimes go unreported.”

Be Safe – Backup Your Data Regularly!

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