Picking up the phone and answering “yes” to a stranger could cost you an arm and a leg, experts have warned.
Fraudsters are rinsing people for vast sums of money in the US by tricking them into agreeing to a major purchase.
Now cops are warning Brits to hang up the phone immediately if an unknown person calls and asks: “Can you hear me?”
Con artists calling from fake companies are trying to get people to agree to verbal contacts
When victims answer, their responses are recorded and used as evidence to prove they agreed to the phoney deal.
If victims challenge the charges, the fraudsters then play back to verbal confirmation and threaten legal action if payment is not made.
Much like clicking “I agree” to terms and conditions online, consumers are consenting to a contract – albeit against their will.
CPR Call Blocker, a UK-based call blocking firm, said its only a matter of time before Brits are targeted.
Kris Hicks from CPR Call Blocker said: “Victims in the US have received a phone call from a familiar local area code and the other person on the other end of the line introduces themselves and their business.
“After the introduction, the person asks ‘Can you hear me?’ if the victim replies with ‘yes’, their response will be recorded for criminals to use.
“I know that people think it’s impolite to hang up, but it’s a good strategy. If you don’t recognise the number, don’t answer.
“And if you do pick up, and they instantly start asking ‘Can you hear me? Are you there?’ as if they are trying to get you to say ‘yes’ to something, don’t say anything and hang up. It’s fishy, don’t fall into the trap.
“In our experience of working across the US and UK, scams spread quickly across the pond so it is sensible for people to be on their guard as we have no doubt that fraudsters operating in the UK will soon start using these tactics.”
If you think you’ve been stung, experts warn the public to contact their bank provider immediately.
How does the scam work?
- You receive a phone call from a local number
- The voice on the end introduces themselves and the company they supposedly work for
- They then ask: “Can you hear me?”
- Your answer is recorded, and if you say “yes”, your response will be edited to make it appear as if you’ve agreed to a huge purchase.