'Can you hear me' scam: Is it real or just a hoax?

Posted at 12:13 PM, Feb 14, 2017

You might have heard warnings in the past few weeks about a dangerous new phone scam for 2017.

It's called the "Can you hear me" scam, and it seems every consumer-alert agency is warning about it.

But is it real? And what's really going to happen if you answer "Yes?"

Hundreds receiving strange calls

Many of us remember those old Verizon ads, with the guy who asked, "Can you hear me now?" (He's since moved to Sprint).

These days, however, no one seems to be laughing when they hear those words.

Marian Diana is one of many people receiving a strange call in recent weeks.

"I picked the phone up," Diana said. "And it's dead for just a couple of seconds, and then a girl comes on, with a very nice voice and says, 'Can you hear me?'"

Diana said the callers claim they are having headset problems. "It's always: 'Can you hear me? Wait, I have to fix my headset.'"

Attorneys General across the country and the Better Business Bureau, are now warning about the scam.

How the scam could work

Here's how the scam could possibly work: When someone asks if you can hear them, your natural response is "Yes."

A scam artist could conceivably be recording the call and then use your voice to approve credit card applications, a travel club and many other things.

"They may be trying to use that recording to say you agreed to purchase their products," a BBB spokesman said.

Can it really scam you?

But the hoax-busting website is not so sure the scam is legit.

Snopes said authorities have not confirmed any reports of anyone losing money or having their identity stolen ... yet.

Snopes points out they would also need a person's credit card or Social Security number to cause serious damage.

Still, A.G.'s offices and the BBB say it is better to be safe than sorry. They say until they figure out who is behind this, you should follow Diana's lead and never say "Yes," or anything for that matter.



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