“Can you hear me?” Police in several states are urging people to avoid answering this simple question from a phone number they do not know, FOX NEWS reports.
Authorities say that the question is aimed at getting unsuspecting victims to say “yes” – an answer the frauster then records as a way to authorize charges on a phone, utility or credit card bill. The scam is a variation of one that began late last year, according to law enforcement.
“You say ‘yes,’ it gets recorded and they say that you have agreed to something,” Susan Grant, director of consumer protection and privacy for the Consumer Federation of America, told CBS News. “I know that people think it’s impolite to hang up, but it’s a good strategy.”
Scammers were using phrases like, “Are you the lady of the house?”; “Do you pay the household telephone bills?”; or “Are you the homeowner?” In many cases, scammers will play back a person’s verbal confirmation and threaten to take legal action if they try to deny the charges.