Hang up if a caller asks "Can you hear me?"

February 02, 2017

The Kansas City Better Business Bureau has received several calls and reports to Scamtracker about the so-called "Can you hear me" scam. Although, the scammers don't just ask if you can hear them; we've had reports of them asking targets if they're speaking to the correct person, if they're homeowners, if they support certain charitable causes and many more tactics to get a target to say "yes."

The Council of Better Business Bureaus issued a statement concerning the scam that can be found at www.bbb.org/canyouhearme.. The statement includes two recordings of the scammers at work, provided by Pindrop. While it sounds like a human being asking an innocent question, it's actually a pre-recorded automated call. Making unsolicited robocalls is against federal law.

Most calls to the Kansas City area claim to be calling from "customer service" or say that the target has won a vacation prize.

The BBB recommends you consider the following:

  • Screening calls. You may not want to pick up phone calls from numbers you do not know. If it is important, the person will call back.
  • If someone asks, "can you hear me?", hang up. Scammers change their tactics as the public catches on, so be alert for different questions.
  • Report the phone number to www.bbb.org/scamtracker to help warn others.
  • Consider the Do Not Call registry. It might not eliminate all calls, but it will reduce telemarketing and sales calls. If someone calls with an unsolicited sales pitch while you're on the registry, they are probably violating federal and state do-not-call laws.
  • Check your bank and credit card statements. If you notice any unauthorized charges, contact your credit card company or bank and dispute the charges immediately.
  • Check you telephone bill. Scammers could use your voice to authorize phone charges. The scam is called "cramming" and is illegal.