Say “Yes” phone scam

An old phone scam is reported to be making a comeback. The Say “Yes” scam, also known as the “Can you hear me” scam first appeared in 2017. It was so prevalent back then that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a warning to consumers at that time. In recent months, it has resurfaced.

Consumers should be wary of answering calls from numbers they do not know. The goal of the scam is to record the person called saying “yes” during the conversation then use the recording to authorize unwanted charges to credit cards or bank accounts.

How the scam works: the consumer answers the phone, and the caller may say they are with a credit card company, a utility company or even a bank. The caller asks “Can you hear me?” and records the victim answering yes. The recording then can be turned into a voice signature that can be used to place unauthorized charges by phone.

The FCC gave the following tips in 2017 to help ward off unwanted calls and scams. They still hold true today:
• Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers – This is the most obvious and simplest precaution. Let unknown calls go to voicemail.
• If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify and target live respondents.
• If you receive a scam call, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC so it can help identify and take appropriate action to help consumers targeted by illegal callers.
• Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC’s website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls.
• Consider registering all of your phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.