If Caller Asks “Can You Hear Me?,” Just Hang Up

Anyone's that read Greek mythology might have heard of the hydra, a multi-headed mythical creature that is notoriously hard to kill because of its ability to sprout a new head in place of a cut one.

The same could be said of crime, every time we uncover a new scam or modus operandi, there is a new one that sprouts in its place. Take for example phone scams. They have been around from almost the same time that phones were invented. And just like the hydra, whenever one phone scam is exposed, all anyone has to do is to wait for a new one to come out.

But there is hope; staying up to date with the news on the latest phone scams can prevent you from being prey to these criminals.

The "Can You Hear Me" Phone Scam:
If you one day answer your phone, and the caller just says "Can you hear me?"  on the other line, you must end the call right then and there. This is because the person on the other line is trying to get you saying "yes" on a recorder, which he can later use in the future to confirm any online transactions such as bank transfers or purchases.

Anyone who's pretty familiar with doing business online should be able to relate that all an online transaction needs to be finalized is for the account holder or client to say "yes". This equates to a verbal contract for any transaction made online.
That is why criminals have come up with this pretty ingenious and relatively easy way to record a victim saying "yes".

Tips to Avoid Being a Victim:

1.If you have to answer the phone even if the number on the screen is unfamiliar, be careful with any question that could make you reply with yes. Examples of these questions aside from "Can you hear me?" could be "Are you the owner of this phone?". Try not to answer with a yes, instead probe for more information from the caller to make sure that the call is safe.

2. Ignore calls from unknown callers. The criminal who started the call will know that the number is reachable and working if you answer calls from unknown numbers, making you vulnerable to more calls from other scammers anytime in the future.

3.Even if the caller claims to be working for a well known establishment, or claims to be working for your best interest, it is never a good idea to hand out any personal information to them. If it was a call claiming that there is a problem with your account, try scheduling a meeting with your bank or company to handle the supposed problem in person. This usually weeds out the real callers from the fake ones.

4. Never feel guilty if you have to hang up on a call even if it the caller was nice and friendly. Always remember that scammers will do anything to get you to say "yes". Always be careful from transactions that do not require a physical presence.

5. Change the settings on your handheld to route incoming calls from unfamiliar numbers to voicemail. Criminals will almost always avoid voice mails since it could be used against them in the future. Once more, having the call recorded could afford you the luxury of reviewing if it is a valid call or not.

With the technology we have today, criminals will always use it to find new ways to scam and manipulate people. The best shield we can have against them is to stay alert, informed and be careful.