Beware “Can You Hear Me?” Cell Phone Scam
Over a decade ago, Verizon ran an ad campaign based around the simple phrase, "Can you hear me now?" Now, fraudsters and scam artists are using that same line to get your voice on tape (well... digital tape) saying "Yes" and racking up charges on the credit cards and utility bills of their targets.
What the scammers do is present themselves as telemarketers, and when you answer, they ask "Can you hear me?" You say "Yes," and then they launch into your sales pitch. What they've done is recorded you saying yes. So even if you decline the offer, even if you hang up mid-pitch, they have you saying yes, and then they'll make charges for a resort stay or a cruise or whatever. Now here's the tricky part, they'll edit the audio so it sounds like you're saying yes to the offer, so when you dispute the charges, they have you on record agreeing to the charges.
This scam has shown up in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida. The best option is to just hang up right away. A secondary back-up option is to get an app that automatically records phone calls. I have one called "CallX" on my android and it backs up to my cloud account. So even if I do get hit with the scam, I have proof that I didn't agree to anything. The apps are different between Android and iPhone, so just search your respective app stores for one.
If you do find out that you've been scammed, alert authorities and alert your financial institution right away. Authorities offer a few tips on how to avoid the scam, such as don't answer unknown numbers, don't give out or confirm your number, don't give personal information, don't answer questions from unknown numbers.