FTC warns on “Can you hear me now” robocall: Hang up!

The Federal Trade Commission this week issued a warning about the irritating and illegal “Can you hear me now?” robocall scam making the rounds on phones across the country.

The FTC says it has received hundreds of complaints on the calls which could end up being part of a scam to get your money.

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The Better Business Bureau described the scam earlier this year: “By replying ‘yes,’  ‘sure,’ or other agreeable response, the scammer records the call and uses that sound bite to authorize unwanted charges to the scammers benefit. “It seems like an innocent question, but it can cause undue financial burdens and stress. The scam caller may already have your financial information, which is how they authorize a payment and, if you dispute a charge, the scammer has doctored the recording to make it seems as though you agreed to it.”

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So, what to do? The FTC and BBB offer the following suggestions:

  • Don’t respond, just hang up. If you get a call, don’t press 1 to speak to a live operator or any other number to be removed from the list. If you respond in any way, it will probably just lead to more robocalls – and they’re likely to be scams. If you do answer, hang-up immediately. Don’t answer any questions or provide any personal information to an unknown caller.
  • Avoid answering calls from unfamiliar numbers. If you don’t recognize a phone number, even if it has a local area code, let the call go to voice mail. You can always call back if they leave a message and it appears legitimate.
  • Check your records for unfamiliar charges. If you suspect you are a victim of this scam check your credit card, banking, phone and cable bill statements for unfamiliar charges. Dispute any charges that you did not authorize on purpose.
  • Report the incident. Keep track of the initiating phone number, file a scam report with BBB Scam Tracker to help warn others from falling victim and notify the FTC or FCC
  • Contact your phone provider. Ask your phone provider what services they provide to block unwanted calls.
  • Put your phone number on the Do Not Call registry. Access the registry online or by calling 1-888-382-1222. Callers who don’t respect the Do Not Call rules are more likely to be crooks.

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