Sunday, 26 February 2017

'Can You Hear Me' Scam Soon Coming In Britain

Can You Hear Me

Scammers are launching a simple but effective new phone scam which could cost you thousands if you answer the question 'can you hear me?'

It has prompted police to say people should remain vigilant when answering the phone to a number they don't recognise.

If you hear the phrase from a caller on a number you don't know, the advice is to hang up straight away. The scam, which uses voice signatures to try and charge you for products or services that you've never used, has been a major problem in the US and experts expect it to turn up in the UK very soon.

How does the scam work?
  • A local number will ring you
  • The person on the phone will then introduce themselves and the company they supposedly work for They then ask: 'Can you hear me?'
  • Your answer is recorded, and if you say 'yes', your response will be edited and then used to charge you for products or services without your knowledge.

If you try to disagree with them, they will then play back their recording of you saying 'yes' and threaten to take legal action if you don't pay up.

CPR Call Blocker has seen a rise in the scam recently and they are warning that it is only a matter of time before people in the UK will be targeted too.

The scammers can also use your voice recording to authorise a stolen credit card. Kris Hicks, from CPR Call Blocker, told the Sunderland Echo: "In our experience of working across the US and UK, scams spread quickly across the pond.

He then warned Brits to be wary 'as we have no doubt that fraudsters operating in the UK will soon start using these tactics'. News of this scam comes hot on the heels of another which Plymouth residents were warned about.

In December, Trading Standards officers said they had received a number of reports that residents are getting phone calls saying there is a problem with their council tax and asking for payment. The residents say that, when asked, the person on the other end of the phone was unable to tell them how much they owed or their account number.

The callers got frustrated and hung up on the customer after they failed to pay.

Another resident received a call from a company claiming they were issuing council tax refunds for overpayment and wanted bank details. Councillor Dave Downie, cabinet member for safer and stronger communities said: "These fraudsters are making money out of targeting some of our most vulnerable residents.

"It's terrible that people would try to use the council's name in this way. We'd like to make sure as many people as possible are aware these scams are doing rounds so they don't fall victim. The council does contact customers to ask for payment of council tax and we also send text messages. However, when we contact a customer, we are always able to verify their account number and account details."

If anyone has responded to one of these cold calls they should report the matter to Action Fraud on call 0300 123 2040 or the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.



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