'Can you hear me' scam could be next trick swindlers bring to Singapore

'Can you hear me' scam could be next trick swindlers bring to Singapore
PHOTO: The New Paper

The phone rings, and when you answer, you are greeted by a voice that briefly introduces themselves or the company they work for.

The person then says: "Can you hear me?"

To reassure the caller, your first instinct is to say: "Yes"

Unbeknownst to you, your answer has been recorded. And while it may seem like just an innocent "yes", the con artist on the other end of the line has got some very sinister plans for it.

Several reports in the UK are warning against such scams, which have emerged in the US recently.

According to The Independent, the recording of your voice can be used as verbal agreement to a contract you are not even aware of.

Verbal contracts are used by many companies conducting legitimate business, but swindlers who use such tactics will trick their victims into paying for products and services they never asked for. When the victim refutes their claims, they will use the recording of their victims saying "yes" as proof, and threaten to take legal action if payment is not made.

Mail Online also reported that the swindlers could use the voice recording to authorise use of stolen credit cards.

So far, scammers have conned people in Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia with this tactic, the tabloid reported.

Read also: Victims lose over $7,000 after buying fake "Grab / Uber promotional packages

A spokesperson from call blocking service company CPR Call Blocker told UK media that the best way for people to prevent such scams was to disconnect such calls when asked "Can you hear me?".

Alternatively, you can choose to ignore calls if you do not recognise the number that is calling.

Read also: 11 scams that are happening in Singapore now

ljessica@sph.com.sg

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