BBB Scam Alert: Can You Hear Me?

  
     
October 18, 2016

Can you hear me OK?

Answering in the affirmative is all a scammer needs to execute the latest "can you hear me?" scam. This scam has historically been directed toward businesses, but your Better Business Bureau is hearing from consumers recently who are reporting the phone scam via BBB Scam Tracker.

How the scam works:

You receive a recorded call from someone who provides an introduction and identifies the business or agency they supposedly represent. Recent scam reports identify the caller as being from a home security agency, a cruise line or associated with social security. After the introduction, the recording will ask if you can hear the caller clearly. If you answer "yes" there's a possibility that the scam artist behind the phone call has recorded you and will use your agreement to sign you up for a product or service and then demand payment. If you refuse, the caller may produce your recorded "yes" response to confirm your purchase agreement.

If you receive a similar call:

  • If you receive an unsolicited robocall from an organization or business, just hang up. If you are on the Do Not Call List and a company calls out of the blue to ask questions, it's likely a scam. Avoid responding with "yes, sure or ok."

  • If you are asked a similar question in a phone call or are asked to press a button to be placed on the Do Not Call Registry, just hang up the phone. Saying anything or pressing buttons when prompted may help the scam artists 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 the FTC's Do Not Call List. Remember that Pennsylvania's wiretapping law is a "two-party consent" law, making it a crime to intercept or record a telephone call or conversation unless all parties to the conversation consent.


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. For more tips on identifying scams and past scam alerts, visit bbb.org.