Don’t get us wrong, sometimes when you get a call, you simply can’t hear the person on the other end of the line. This could be due to a number of things: a loud room, static, traffic through a tunnel, screaming children… the reasons are endless. However, most recently, if you happen to get an unexpected call asking, “Can you hear me?” our advice is to HANG UP IMMEDIATELY!
A scam hitting cities across the nation has, according to the BBB, been affecting victims since late last year. This new scam is using Verizon’s well-known phrase, “Can you hear me now?” and recording victims who say “yes.” The recording is then used to authorize a number of unwanted charges which include phone and utility bills, services, products, and pre-approved credit cards.
All it Takes is One Little “Yes”
So, how can a recording of one little “yes” give a scammer access to meddle with your expenses or purchases? Most scammers may already have your information – phone bills, credit card numbers, social security numbers etc. – before they even make the first call. What makes the possession of your “yes” recording even worse is that, when you do catch unauthorized charges, your “yes” can be used against you, countering your dispute on the charges. Without even realizing it, before it’s too late, you’re then informed that there has been a verbal approval for the charges.
How to Answer Back Without Answering
Whether you feel you’ve been victimized or you want to prevent yourself from becoming a “Can you hear me now?” scammer’s next victim, here are a few things you should keep in mind to stay off their radar:
- Do your due diligence and make a habit of checking your credit card, phone, cable or any bills for charges you do not recognize. If you find unauthorized charges, be sure to dispute them. If you are told that you had previously authorized the charges, ask for proof of your approval.
- If you have trouble disputing an unauthorized charge on your credit card bill, contact the Federal Trade Commission. If you find a charge on your phone bill contact the Federal Communications Commission.
- If you receive a call from an unexpected solicitor, save yourself time and grief by hanging up immediately. This is not rude, it’s just playing it safe.
- Avoid becoming a victim by downloading a caller ID and call blocking app that will help screen and block unwanted calls.