FCC issues new alert warning of variation of ‘Can you hear me?’ phone scam

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A new warning from the Federal Communications Commission could save you from being a scam victim.

Here’s how it works. You get a phone call from an unknown number and then the voice on the other end asks “Can you hear me?”

The problem is that when you say “yes” in response to that question, the scammer on the other end records you and then uses your voice to sign you up for things you didn’t agree to.

The FCC issued a consumer alert Monday against just such scammers. When a caller says, “Yes,” that they can hear the robocall, their reply is recorded and used to authorize charges on the victim’s utility or credit card account,

Our sister station, WISH News 8, talked to Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill a few months ago about the scam. He warned Hoosiers to do one simple thing: don’t pick up the phone.

“The practice that I’ve taken is if a phone number pops up and I don’t recognize the number, I don’t answer,” Hill said. “If it’s someone who really wants to talk to me I can call them back and program that number in. That’s a very safe mechanism or fail-safe to keep yourself from being exposed to scammers and the like.”

Besides not answering, the FCC suggests hanging up if you’re asked to push a button. Scammers often use these tricks to identify and then target live respondents.

If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC. You can also ask if your phone company offers a robocall blocking service.

Finally, head the national Do Not Call Registry and sign up.

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