How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone Scam

Photo by g-stockstudio /

If you answer a phone call from a telemarketer or a stranger, beware if they immediately ask “Can you hear me?” A good response is to simply say “no.” Or better yet, say nothing at all and hang up the phone.

Otherwise, you could end up the victim of a phone scam.

That’s sage advice from the Better Business Bureau. The organization is warning Americans that the “Can you hear me?” phone scam — once used to trick businesses into office supply purchases — is making the rounds again. But this time, it’s targeting consumers.

If you deliver an affirmative response to the caller’s question, then they have a recording of your voice saying “yes,” which could be fraudulently used to sign you up for an expensive service or vacation package.

Consumerist explains how scammers can use your one-word response against you:

“If you dispute the charges, the company may take legal action, sticking that recording of you saying ‘yes’ into a recording of a different conversation as evidence that you agreed to the transaction.

Another variation uses that recording to ‘prove’ that you agreed to charges on a credit card of yours when the perpetrators have already stolen the number.”

Of course, if you think the caller is legit, you could always answer with “I can hear you,” reports Consumerist.

According to the BBB, more than half of the reports to the BBB Scam Tracker during the last few days of January were related to this scam.

Here are ways to protect yourself:

  • Don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number. Beware that “scammers will use a fake number from an area code close to you, to make you more likely to think it’s a local business and pick up,” says Consumerist.
  • Consider using a robocall-screening service.
  • Check your account statements frequently to ensure that you haven’t received any erroneous or unauthorized charges.
  • But perhaps this piece of advice from Consumerist is the easiest and most effective way to avoid being scammed: “Never say yes to telemarketers.”

Have you heard of the “Can you hear me?” phone scam? Comment below or on Facebook.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
7 Things I Never Buy at Costco
7 Things I Never Buy at Costco

A bulk buy isn’t always the best buy. Here’s where I shop for these items instead of a warehouse club.

How Much of My Social Security Benefit Can My Ex Take From Me?
How Much of My Social Security Benefit Can My Ex Take From Me?

A man wonders if his ex-wife will siphon away his Social Security benefit.

8 Things I Always Buy at Target
8 Things I Always Buy at Target

I grew up shopping at the original Target store and am a lifelong fan. Here are my favorite purchases.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started


Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.

Trending Stories