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Beware of “can you hear me” scams

By submitted, 02/12/17 7:29 AM


LITTLE ROCK – Arkansans are being victimized by con artists who use audio editing equipment to create false authorization recordings to make unauthorized purchases on credit cards or add-ons to utility bills. The Arkansas Attorney General’s office has received a number of reports of the scam in which callers are asking “Can you hear me?” in order to elicit a “yes” response from the consumer which the scammer will then use for illegal or fraudulent purposes.

“This robocall scam can be dangerous if Arkansans don’t protect themselves,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is best to just hang up on the caller if you are suspicious.”

Attorney General Rutledge released to following tips to avoid this scam:

  • Use caller ID and let unknown numbers go to voicemail.
  • Avoid talking to unknown callers and hang up if you are suspicious.
  • Monitor bank and credit card statements, along with utility bills for any charges you did not make.

In this scam, the caller has reportedly asked questions such as “Can you hear me?” “Are you the lady of the house?” “Are you the homeowner?” “Is this <insert phone number>?” or “Do you pay the household telephone bills?” all hoping for the same result — a “yes” answer that can be recorded for further use.

In addition to recording your voice to make a false authorization that can be played back to approve additional charges, by talking to unknown callers, scammers will know that the number is active and are more likely to sell the number and lead to more unwanted calls from disreputable solicitors.

Report this scam to the Attorney General’s office and also contact the Federal Trade Commission if an unauthorized credit card transaction has been processed or the Federal Communications Commission if an additional charge is added to a phone bill.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.


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