‘Can you hear me?’ scam is here (SV Herald)
The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of a scam that has made its way to Southeastern Arizona. A simple “Yes” to a phone question - “Can you hear me?” - could be enough to hurt your wallet. Scammers call unsuspecting businesses and consumers and ask, “Can you hear me?” and wait for a “Yes” response. Once they get what they want, they hang up. The victim’s response is recorded and later used to authorize credit card purchases.
“If someone calls and asks, ‘Can you hear me?’ hang up the phone and do not respond,” advises Carol Capas, sheriff’s office spokeswoman. “This is a conditioned response, so it’s easy to become a victim. If you get one of these calls, take a deep breath, think about it, and then hang up. Try really hard not to use that single response of ‘yes.’ Use caution and do your best not to fall for this phone scam.”
Three Cochise County residents have contacted the sheriff’s office to report receiving such calls. One resident said the scammer claims to be representing the Veterans Affairs Office before asking whether they can be heard. “The scariest part of any phone scam, is you have no idea of how many victims are really out there, because many of them do not report the scam.” Capas says residents that have received such a call should check bank and credit card statements for any suspicious activity. “If you see suspicious credit card or checking activity, call your local law enforcement agency, the Better Business Bureau or the Attorney General’s Office and report the incident,” Capas said.
She recommends checking the accounts daily for at least a week. “This is not an identity theft case, this is a case where someone is stealing your credit information to steal your money. Anyone who is losing money should report that. It may prevent someone else from becoming a victim,” Capas said. “This is not an identity theft case, this is a case where someone is stealing your credit information to steal your money.”
-courtesy of the Sierra Vista Herald and Cochise County Emergency Management