Thanks to spoofed phone numbers, automated dialing software, and shaky telemarketing ethics, consumers can find it difficult to avoid invasive telephone solicitations. Now, a new, potentially dangerous robo-call scam is said to be more than just a nuisance: It might actually cost you money.
According to USA Today, consumers who pick up the phone and are greeted with a voice asking, "Can you hear me?" are potential victims of a phishing scheme in which their response of "Yes" might be recorded and later used to affirm purchases or contracts that they never agreed to. If you dispute the bill, scammers might use the recorded "Yes" as "proof" you agreed to a deal and threaten you with collection or legal action. While a voice recording is unlikely to stand up in court (and is illegal without the consent of both parties in some states), the vague threat of litigation might be enough to cause some victims to cave in.
The Better Business Bureau first warned of the calls in October 2016. While there doesn’t appear to be a documented case of fraudulent charges being levied against a consumer in this manner to date, it's better to be safe than sorry: The BBB advises hanging up without saying anything and then carefully monitoring your credit card accounts for any suspicious charges.
[h/t USA Today]