Answering “yes” to the question “can you hear me?” is all a scammer needs to execute the latest phone call scam. Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York is seeing a dramatic increase in reports on our Scam Tracker and calls to our office reporting this scam.
There’s a new phone scam out there!
There are three different “versions” of the scam calls: Phishing, employment, and vacations.
People in Central New York and the Capital Region report the following:
“I returned a missed call and was asked if this was (my name) and I answered yes. I’m job-hunting at the time and the phone call said they were following up on a request for info about going back to college that I submitted but they could not tell me who I submitted it through. I am unaware of ever requesting any info about college. And I just heard about a scam on the news that sounds pretty similar to this. Wanted to report it.”
“Caller said they were having trouble with headset and asked ‘can you hear me?’ I replied ‘yes.’”
“Just saw this on the news about someone calling and trying to record the word “Yes.” A man called and said he was with the customer support team and asked if I could hear him. He then went on to say I’d won a vacation and I hung up.”
“When phone answered-scam recording acted like they couldn’t hear the answer stated a problem with their headset. Once “headset” was fixed stated I won a vacation.”
How the scam works:
A call comes in from someone who provides an introduction and identifies the business or agency they supposedly represent. After the introduction, the recording will ask if you can hear the caller clearly. If you answer “yes,” there’s a chance that was recorded by the scammer. They could use your agreement to sign you up for a product or service, and then demand payment for it. If you refuse, the caller may produce your recorded “yes” response to confirm your purchase agreement.
What you should do:
If you receive an unsolicited call from an organization or business, just hang up. Avoid responding with “yes, sure or ok.”
The scammer may ask you to press a button to sign up for the Do Not Call Registry. Just hang up the phone. Saying anything or pressing buttons when prompted may help the scammer identify that you have an active phone number. Remember that no government agency will ever solicit for the Do Not Call Registry.
Write down the phone number of those callers violating the Do Not Call Registry and file a scam report with BBB Scam Tracker and FTC’s Do Not Call List.
BBB advises to check your account statements frequently in the event you do fall for a similar scam or provide personal information in an unsolicited phone call. The earlier you identify unauthorized charges on your accounts, the easier it will be to recover any lost money.