‘Can you hear me?’: New phone scam tricks you into saying, ‘Yes’

Posted February 7, 2017

Article Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) (

From encrypted passwords to padlocked doors, Canadians will go to extreme lengths to avoid scammers.

Now it may not be safe to pick up the phone.

A new scam has surfaced that relies on your voice to answer a simple question: “Can you hear me now”?

Those are the words to watch out for as scammers try to bait callers into saying, “Yes.”

Anti-fraud agencies say that simple verbal acknowledgement can be used to make it sound like you signed on for a purchase or service, and there’s a chance you could be on the hook for those charges.

“They’re trying to get a recording of you saying ‘yes,’ ” said Ron Mychaluk, a public relations manager with the Better Business Bureau of Central and Northern Alberta.

“They’re going to take that recorded ‘yes,’ play around with that audio and make it seem to you, or a representative of a business, that you have paid for some advertising, a cruise or a big ticket item, and send you the bill.”  

‘Don’t fall into the trap’

In the past, the scam normally targeted businesses in an effort to rope them into office supply purchases they did not order. But it appears the scam is now targeting consumers.

“They’re going to call you back later, after sending you an invoice that may be in arrears,” said Mychaluk. “And they’re going to prove it to you with that doctored recording.

“And some people are going to be scared and pay the bill.”

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Ross Knechtel

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