NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Authorities are issuing a warning about an unusual scam that could reach you through your phone.
If your phone rings and someone asks “Can you hear me now?” — 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!” thus 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.”
Tips to avoid this scam:
- Don’t answer the phone from numbers you don’t know.
- Don’t confirm your number over the phone.
- Don’t give out personal information.
- Don’t answer questions.
“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 do not call list.