Scam Alert: “Can You Hear Me?” Scam Back with Travel Twist

  
     
It's back! Can You Hear Me scam returns, remember not to respond.
April 21, 2017

 “Can You Hear Me?” Call Scam Poses as Trip Advisor Rep

It’s back! This winter, the “Can You Hear Me?” con (bbb.org/canyouhearme) was one of the most-reported scams in BBB Scam Tracker. It’s returned this spring with a travel-themed twist: scammers are pretending to be from Trip Advisor.

How the Scam Works

You get a call from someone claiming to work for Trip Advisor (some attentive targets report that callers really say “a trip advisor”). Typically, the first thing the “Trip Advisor representative” asks is “Can you hear me?” Sometimes, the scammer claims to be having trouble with his/her headset.

Don’t respond and just hang up! If you say “yes,” the caller will start to sell you a travel package, such as a discounted resort stay or a cruise. The “Can You Hear Me” scam suddenly seem to be everywhere, and this is just the latest iteration.  In many cases, the scammer already has the person’s phone number, credit card number, or cable bill as the result of a data breach. These can be used to authorize third-party charges.  When the victim disputes the charges, the scammer can use the recorded “yes” to confirm that they have consent.

How to spot a “Can You Hear Me?” Con:

  • Just hang up and don't call back. It is tempting to get the last word, but you may end up giving scammers information they can use later. 
  • Don't believe Caller ID. Caller ID spoofing makes it very easy for callers to pretend to be someone else. Scammers have also posed as everyone from immigration authorities to utility company representatives to local police. 
  • Join the Do Not Call Registry (DoNotCall.gov) to cut down on telemarketing and sales calls. Although it won’t stop scammers, you’ll get fewer calls, making it easier to spot the fraudulent ones.
  • Always check your credit card, phone, and cable statements carefully for any unfamiliar charges. If you suspect you have been victimized, call the billing company and dispute anything you did not authorize.

 

For more information:

Read more about “Can You Hear Me?” cons here on BBB.org bbb.org/canyouhearme

To report a scam, go to bbb.org/scamtracker