Consider this a warning from the police to everyone with a phone: hang up IMMEDIATELY if you get a phone call from someone asking "can you hear me now?"
The new phone scam records innocent people saying "yes," which then can be used to authorize unwanted charges on your credit card.
Police warn that if these people already have your phone number, they likely have access to other information that could end up costing you your hard-earned money.
But can't you just dispute the charges? According to Susan Grant, director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America, the scammers can actually sue YOU if you try to dispute the charges.
"You say 'yes,' it gets recorded and they say that you have agreed to something," says Grant. "I know that people think it's impolite to hang up, but it's a good strategy."
Susan Grant of the Consumer Federation of America
So what if you've already fallen victim to the scam? Police recommend checking any credit cards, phone, or cable bills for any additional or unusual charges. If you find something, contact the company and ask for proof of authorization for the charges.
Avoiding the scam is fairly simple: do not answer calls from any number you don't recognize. If you do answer the call, do not hand out ANY personal information and do not answer any questions. Hang up if you are uncomfortable. If it is someone you know, they'll call back.