‘Can you hear me?’ phone calls becoming more frequent

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Consumer Protection Division (CPD) of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General continues to receive complaints about phone calls from unknown numbers in which the caller asks, “Can you hear me?.” The calls come from scammers attempting to get the recipient to simply say “yes.”

Since Feb. 6, the CPD has received 50 complaints about these phone calls. The scam is an effort to confirm working phone numbers answered by live persons. Numbers answered by humans are then targeted at later dates and added to lists of phone numbers resold to other scammers.

In recent weeks, authorities have become concerned that scammers might use recorded “yes” answers fraudulently – claiming they are verifications or agreements that can be used as a premise for billing people for goods or services they did not actually order. Thus far, the CPD does not have any reports of persons being scammed out of money as a direct result of these calls. The scam has become so prevalent that the CPD twice this week received this identical “Can you hear me?” phone call.

The CPD and Attorney General Curtis Hill are reminding all Hoosiers: If you don’t know the number, don’t answer the phone. However, in the event you answer a phone call from an unknown number and the caller asks, “Can you hear me?,” then simply hang up immediately.

Additionally, consumers who receive these calls should report them to our office at 1-800-382-5516. Make a note of the number from which you were called and report it to our office. When we receive reports of scam phone calls, we add the reported numbers to a blacklist database. If you have fallen victim to this -- or any other scam phone calls -- and you feel your personal identity or sensitive information has been compromised, you can also fill out an Identity Theft Complaint Form. For more information, visit the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.

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