Author Topic: "Can you hear me?" scam  (Read 2337 times)

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Offline Maik

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"Can you hear me?" scam
« on: Saturday, 25 February, 2017 @ 12:58:12 »
Do NOT answer if someone asks 'can you hear me?': Major phone scam edits your response to make it appear as if you've agreed to a huge purchase
A scammer will ring you from a local number and ask 'Can you hear me?'
If you answer yes, your answer will be recorded and stored
The scammer can then use the recording to sign verbal contracts
It has already been used across the US and experts warn it could come to the UK

Quote is from the Mail but the same story has appeared in other national and local 'papers over the last day or so, e.g. the Independent.

The Telegraph reported it on 30/01/17 after checking with Snopes:

At first glance, the warning sounded reasonably valid: major news outlets covered it, and a Better Business Bureau satellite office reported the scam as well. But a closer examination revealed some questionable elements.

Primarily, we haven’t yet been able to identify any scenario under which a scammer could authorize charges in another person’s name simply by possessing a voice recording of that person saying “yes,” without also already possessing a good deal of personal and account information for that person, and without being able to reproduce any other form of verbal response from that person.

Moreover, even if such a scenario existed, it’s hard to imagine why scammers would need to utilize an actual audio recording of the victim’s repeating the word “yes” rather than simply providing that response themselves. As far as we know, phone companies, utilities, and credit card issuers don’t maintain databases of voice recordings of their customers and use them to perform real-time audio matching to verify identities during customer service calls.

In all the news reports we found, interviewees merely reported having been asked the common question (“Can you hear me?”) but did not aver that they themselves had fallen prey to scammers.

The “Can you hear me?” scam for now seems to be more a suggestion of a hypothetical crime scheme than a real one that is actually robbing victims of money. In messages we left with the BBC, the FTC, and the Consumer Federation of America, we asked a question absent from all the news reports we’ve encountered about this scam: “Are there any documented cases of people being victimized in this manner?” We have not yet received any affirmative response to those queries.

Some 'news' reports give credit for the story to a call-blocking service who will block 'phone numbers if you cross their palms with silver. In effect, the news becomes a sponsored story.

Offline TonyKath

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Re: "Can you hear me?" scam
« Reply #1 on: Saturday, 25 February, 2017 @ 17:04:07 »
Well spotted Maik, our resident super-sleuth.  :btu: