As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, there’s a new danger — a “can you hear me” phone scam that’s, like, way too clever. Instead of sending you an email about a Nigerian Prince who promises to double your money if you simply give him a small loan via wire transfer, scammers have figured out a new way to get at your bank account. Apparently, scammers are calling people, and asking, “can you hear me?” When you answer “yes” automatically, they record your answer, and use it in order to verify credit card purchases and get through other security measures on your behalf.
It’s easy enough for those of us who are pretty chill about phones and don’t tend to answer numbers we don’t know — or are too lazy to do so — to avoid this scam, but if you’re waiting for a call or worried you might miss something important, it can be really hard to ascertain what’s real and what’s not.
Beyond simply not answering unfamiliar numbers, Fox News provided the following suggestions to avoid falling victim to this scam:
1. Do not give out personal information.
2. Do not confirm your number over the phone.
3. Do not answer questions over the phone.
We’re obviously intending these tactics to be used when you don’t know the person or business on the other end of the line, so no, we’re not giving you carte blanche to avoid answering when parents and grandparents ask when you’re going to get married and remind you that your biological clock is ticking. (Although we do actually advise that, too.)
If this call sounds too familiar, definitely pull up your credit card statements ASAP and make sure you haven’t fallen victim to this hoax.