HEADS UP: New Phone Scam That Could Pretty Much Fool Anyone
Police around the country are warning you to hang up immediately, if you get a call where someone asks you “Can you hear me?”
The scammers use your response of YES to then make unauthorized purchases on your phone or utility bill.
According to Officer Jo Ann Hughes with the Norfolk Police Department, Here’s how it works:
The scammers call you on a phone number with a familiar area code. You answer the call and the person on the other end introduces themselves and the company they’re with; sometimes this can be a robocall but after this introduction, they then ask “Can you hear me?” Our natural reaction is to say yes, but the scammers are recording you and using this to make unauthorized purchases. When you try to dispute the charge with the scammer, they play your YES back, refuse to refund the charges and threaten to file legal charges against you.
Police say if you get this call to first IMMEDIATELY hang up and then call police and let them know.
Other ways to avoid the scam
- Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize. Let voicemail pick it up
- Don’t give out ANY personal info over the phone, especially if they called you
- Don’t confirm your phone number over the phone (that’s recorded and used when they make fraudulent charges and need that to verify your account)
- Don’t answer questions over the phone
According to the Better Business Bureau, there are other variations of the scam including people calling from a cruise line or security company.
We also heard from callers after we mentioned it on air, that said "yes" these calls have happened here in West Michigan.
Finally, if you have said yes to the scam call, alert your bank and credit card companies immediately and then keep an eye on them for any fraudulent charges.