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Police Warn Of 'Can You Hear Me?' Phone Scam

NORFOLK, Va. (CBS) – If the next phone call you answer starts off strangely, it might be a scam.

Police are warning about a new scheme in which the fraudster asks "Can you hear me?" The aim is to get the caller to say "yes," which is recorded and used to authorize credit card or bill charges.

"You say 'yes,' it gets recorded and they say that you have agreed to something," Susan Grant, director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America, tells CBS News. "I know that people think it's impolite to hang up, but it's a good strategy."

And believe it or not, the scammers may already have your personal data. Some phone providers pass along the third-party charges, and data breaches have made people's important information available.

CBS News notes that "can you hear me?" isn't the only phrase being used here. Any yes or no question can work, such as "are you the homeowner?" or "do you pay the bills?"

Authorities recommends that anyone who suspects a scam should just hang up and monitor their credit card charges.

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