Innocent people are being tricked in this phone scam. We are being warned that if someone calls and asks, “Can you hear me?”, we need to hang up the phone immediately.
This is a major phone scam from the US we are being warned that it’s about hit the UK imminently.
Police and call-blocking companies are warning the public about the dangerous phone call, in the hope of preventing innocent people falling victim to the scammers.
Here’s how it works:
• You receive a phone call from a local number
• The voice on the end introduces themselves and the company they supposedly work for.
• They then ask: “Can you hear me?”
• Your answer is recorded, and if you say “yes”, your response will be edited to make it appear as if you’ve agreed to a huge purchase.
You’re in essence being tricked into signing a verbal contract, much the same as clicking ‘I agree’ to terms and conditions online.
Voice signatures like these are legitimately used by companies doing business over the phone. Unbelievably this is now being exploited by scammers who have recently conned many Americans, predominantly in Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
CPR Call Blocker has seen the scam rise in frequency and the company believes it’s only a matter of time before Britain is targeted too, according to the Sunderland Echo.
“In our experience of working across the US and UK, scams spread quickly across the pond,” says Kris Hicks from CPR Call Blocker. He adds that it’s sensible for Brits to be on their guard “as we have no doubt that fraudsters operating in the UK will soon start using these tactics.”
The scammers try to charge you for products or services you’ve never used, and if you try despite the agreement, they’ll play back their recording of you saying “yes” and threaten to take legal action if you don’t pay up.
Another version of the scam sees the criminals using the person’s voice recording to authorise a stolen credit card.
The public is being advised either to hang up straight away upon being asked “Can you hear me?”, or just not pick up at all if you don’t recognise the number.
If you do think you may have been caught out by the scammers, it’s imperative that you contact your bank or card provider immediately.