PHONE SCAM WARNING: If you hear these words hang up IMMEDIATELY
The con started in the US last month with experts warning it is set to sweep the UK with fraudsters tricking people into saying ‘yes’ to swindle you out of huge amounts of money.
Fraudsters call up from a local number and introduce themselves and a fake company they work for before asking ‘can you hear me?’.
If you answer ‘yes’ the con artists record the call and edit the audio to make it seem as you have signed a verbal contract for a major purchase.
The scammers then use the edited conversation to trick you out of huge amounts of cash.
Victims are being warned if they try to dispute the charges the scammers will play back your verbal confirmation saying ‘yes’ and threaten to take legal action if you refuse to pay.
The verbal contract acts as a verbal signature which is used by many businesses over the phone.
CPR Call Blocker, a UK-based telephone blocking company, warned the con is due to hit Britain after tricking people in the US.
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.”
Experts warn if you think you have been caught out to contact your bank or card provider as soon as possible and to check bank and card statements for unauthorised charges.
HOW THE SCAM WORKS
1. You receive a phone call from a local number
2. The voice on the end introduces themselves and the company they supposedly work for
3. They then ask: “Can you hear me?”
4. Your answer is recorded
5. If you say “yes”, your response will be edited to make it seem as though you have agreed to a verbal contract for a major purchase