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
If you receive a phone call from a mystery number and are asked 'Can you hear me?', then hang up the phone immediately.
A major phone scam is tricking users into saying 'yes', before editing the answer into a conversation to swindle money.
The scam began in the US last month, but experts are warning that it is set to make its way over the pond and affect UK users.
The hoax involves receiving a call from a local number.
The voice at the other end introduces themselves, and the firm they supposedly work for.
They then ask: 'Can you hear me?' while fully-well knowing nothing is wrong with the line.
If you answer 'yes', your response is recorded, before being edited to make it seem as if you've signed a verbal contract.
This allows the scammer to swindle you out of huge amounts of money.
If you try to dispute the charges for products or services you didn't want to pay, the scammers can then play back the recording of you saying 'yes', and threaten to take legal action.
Several firms use voice signatures for business over the phone.
But these leave users vulnerable, and scammers have already fooled people in Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, CPR Call Blocker, a UK-based telephone blocking company, said that the frequency of the scam is on the rise, and it's only a matter of time before Brits are targeted.
Kris Hicks, Head of Marketing at CPR Call Blocker, said: 'In our experience of working across the US and UK, scams spread quickly across the pond.'
He added that people should be especially cautious, as 'we have no doubt that fraudsters operating in the UK will soon start using these tactics.'
A second version of the hoax sees scammers using the person's voice recording to authorise stolen credit cards.
If you do think you may have been caught out by the scammers, contact your bank or card provider as soon as you can.
- Kris Hicks