Authorities in the US have warned the public to avoid answering if they receive a phone call from an unknown person asking: "Can you hear me?"
It is feared that fraudsters are asking the question purely to make victims say "yes" - which they'll then record, and use to authorise fraudulent charges to that person's phone, utility or credit card bill.
Susan Grant, director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America, told CBS: “You say ‘yes,’ it gets recorded and they say that you have agreed to something."
She urged the public to simply put the phone down to unsolicited callers who pose that question: “I know that people think it’s impolite to hang up, but it’s a good strategy.”
However, despite police forces in several states having issued warnings about the scam, the myth-debunking website Snopes has raised doubts about the reports, saying: "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."
The site's investigators found "no indication that anyone who had actually been scammed out of money by saying 'yes' to a caller had stepped forward" - noting that police departments will often to "spread dubious crime warnings on a 'better safe than sorry' basis."
Source: The Telegraph