FOX NEWS - "Can you hear me?" Police in several states are urging people to avoid answering this simple question from a phone number they do not know. Authorities in Virginia say the question is aimed at getting unsuspecting victims to say "yes" -- an answer the frauster then records as a way to authorize charges on a phone, utility or credit card bill. The scam is a variation of one that began late last year, according to law enforcement.
"You say 'yes,' it gets recorded and they say that you have agreed to something,” Susan Grant, director of consumer protection and privacy for the Consumer Federation of America, told CBS News. “I know that people think it’s impolite to hang up, but it’s a good strategy.”
In many cases, scammers will play back a person's verbal confirmation and threaten to take legal action if they try to deny the charges.
“A lot of times, victims do not want to come forward because they are embarrassed. They feel like, ‘It was my fault. I should have known better,’ and they are just embarrassed by it all together. So we do not get a whole lot of reports, unfortunately,” Hughes told the station.