NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Authorities are issuing a warning about an unusual phone scam.
If your phone rings and someone asks “Can you hear me?” — hang up. Your answer to the simple question from an unknown caller could make you a victim of the scam.
What the scammer is trying to do is record your voice saying “Yes” in order to authorizing unwanted charges on a phone or utility bill.
“It’s a verbal contract, just like clicking ‘I agree’ on a computer,” said Howard Schwartz of the Better Business Bureau. “It’s called a voice signature and it’s used legitimately by companies to show that you’ve agreed to some sort of a change, usually an upgrade in some sort of a plan.”
To avoid falling victim to this scam:
“If it’s an illegal marketing call and you press any button whatsoever, you’ve told them it’s a working number and you’re amenable to picking up the telephone when it rings,” Schwartz said.
Numbers can then be sold to many other scammers.
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to get on the National Do Not Call Registry.