Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre warns public about ‘Can you hear me?’ phone scam

talking on phone - can you hear me now

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has identified and is warning the public about a phone scam that begins with the caller asking “Can you hear me?”

When those being called respond “yes” to the innocuous-sounding phrase (or a similar question), that affirmation is recorded as proof that the caller has agreed to purchase an expensive item, such as a cruise ticket, and an invoice is sent out to match. While the evidence might not hold up in court, the unexpected bill is a shock to those affected.

Nancy Cahill, the intake unit manager with the anti-fraud centre in North Bay, Ontario told the CBC her simple advice for avoiding the scam: “Do not answer any questions that would prompt you to say ‘yes’ from an unknown caller. If you’re not expecting the call, just hang up.”

The scam began being reported in British Columbia in February 2017 and has also been reported in Ontario. The anti-fraud agencies in B.C. report that it originated in the U.S.

Image credit: Martin Cathrae

Source: CBC