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We all remember the Verizon commercial “Can you hear me now?”, but according to the Federal Communications Commission, if you’re asked if you can hear someone on the phone, it may be a scam.
According to the FCC, the scam begins as soon as you answer your phone. A person or a recording on the other end asks “Can you hear me?” and you respond “Yes”.
That “yes” response can provide a voice signature to be used later by the scammers to authorize fraudulent charges over the phone.
Scam victims have reported that these callers have impersonated employees of service organizations that may be familiar, such as a mortgage lender or utility. Others have reported the caller sounds like a young person, giggling when they answer the phone saying ” Oh, I didn’t expect you to pick up! Can you hear me?”.
If you receive this type of call, do not respond and immediately hang up, says the FCC. If you remember receiving a call like this recently and you think you may have said “yes”, keep a close eye on your statements over the next several months for unauthorized charges.
1. Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.
2. If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents.
3. If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC so we can help identify and take appropriate action to help consumers targeted by illegal callers.
4. Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC’s website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls. Consider registering all of your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry.
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