The FCC says in a March 27 alert that the scam centers on tricking victims into saying the word “yes,” which scammers record for later use in identity theft or fraud, including phony utility or credit card charges.
“Can you hear me” Scam
Did you ever receive a call from a perky voice that starts off with “Can you hear me?” Their goal is to record the consumer’s “Yes” response to obtain your voice signature. “This signature can later be used by the scammers to pretend to be the consumer and authorize fraudulent charges via telephone,” – FCC says.
Scammers have long targeted consumers, pretending to be from legitimate agencies such as the IRS, Credit card services, or from the Tech Support department of a brand-name company, such as Microsoft in an attempt to get victims to pay for fixes to non-existent issues such as viruses, malware, or critical upgrades needed on consumers’ computers.
Don’t pick up the phone to answer calls from unknown numbers. Instead, let them go to voicemail.
Here are some useful tips to help you not become a victim of “Can you hear me?” – “Yes” scam.
Don’t be a “Yes” Scam Victim. Use these tips for blocking robocalls, texts and marketing calls.
- Register your phone numbers with the federal government’s Do Not Call Registry. You can also call 1-888-382-1222 from the number you want to register – mobile or landline.
- Remember, your caller ID might show a fake number designed to fool you into believing someone local to you calls you. In the world of social engineering, using numbers from the same area code as yours trigger your anxiety about potentially missing an important call from someone, or from organization you may know.
- Don’t pick up a call from a number you don’t know – your answer or pressing numbers can confirm that you have an active line.
- Don’t call back a number you don’t recognize to see who called you – it could bring you back to the scammer’s trap.
- If you picked up and realized you got a robocall, immediately hang up. In the words of Better Business Bureau, “There is nothing to gain from attempting to reason with the people behind the calls.”
- Never reveal any personal or financial information unless you have verified the caller’s identification. Scam callers may pretend to represent organizations or businesses you know, including government agencies such as IRS, FBI, or public service companies.
- Independently verify numbers they tell you to call.
- Contact your mobile devices or landline service provider to look into features for blocking unwanted calls.
- AT&T Call Protect helps eligible customers manage unwanted calls with automatic fraud blocking and spam warnings in HD voice coverage areas.
- CTIA Blocking robocalls resources page with step-by-step instructions on how to block individual numbers based on Android, Blackberry, iOS, and Windows operating systems; and list of third party apps to block unwanted calls.
- Google Play Update for phone app for Android Marshmallow device.
- Google Project Fi Call blocking help page for Project Fi wireless service.
- T-Mobile Name ID app for identifying and blocking dangerous calls and texts.
- U.S. Cellular Consumer information and tips for stopping robocalls.
- US Telecom Trade association’s consumer education, tools and resources for stopping robocalls.
- Verizon Customer support page for stopping robocalls (includes wireline resources).
- File a complaint with the FCC Consumer Help Center when you receive an unwanted call to help determine where to take action.
- There’s no way to prevent criminals from running these types of scams. Law enforcement, consumer rights groups, and professional IT consultants are recommending to file an incident report to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker and FBI’s IC3 Internet Complaint Center to help authorities investigate and battle these types of scam.
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