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Is the 'Can you hear me' scam real or a hoax?

Don't Waste Your Money
Posted at 3:35 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 19:33:06-05

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

It's called the"can you hear me" scam, and it seems every agency around is warning about it.

But is it real? And what's really going to happen if you say yes?

Hundreds Receiving Strange Calls

We all remember those funny old Verizon commercials, with the guy who said "can you hear me now?" (He later moved to Sprint).

These days, however, no one is laughing.

Marian Diana of Anderson Township, Ohio, is one of many people receiving a strange call in recent weeks.

"I picked the phone up," she 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?'

She says 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, including Ohio AG Mike DeWine, and the Better Business Bureau, are now warning about  the "can you hear me" scam.

How the Scam Could Work

Here's why they are so concerned: When someone asks if you can hear them, your natural response is "yes."

It's conceivable they could 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 Snopes.com is not so sure.  

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

Snopes points out they would also need your credit card or Social Security Number to cause serious damage.

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

"No, I haven't said anything," she said.

So while the mystery continues over who is behind this scam, it's better to be safe and never talk to a phone caller you don't know.

Because if it not a scam, then why are they calling and asking "can you hear me?"    

That way you don't waste your money.

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