‘Can you hear me?’ Phone scam calls increasing in Chicago

If an unknown caller asks if you can hear them, do not say “yes.”

The Chicago Sun Times reports that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s issued a statement that her office has received an increase in complaints from residents about “Can you hear me?” phone calls from scammers.

As previously reported by Crime Online, scammers have devised a way to access people’s credit cards and other information just by having them say “yes.”  They record you saying “yes” and use your affirmative voice to authorize charges on a credit card or other payments. If you contest the purchase, merchants have a recording of your voice, seeming to authorize the transaction.

The level of sophistication of the scammers is increasing because they now can spoof caller ID display devices so they appear to reflect a call coming from a familiar area code.

Police encourage victims to come forward and not be embarrassed if you fall prey to this scheme. You can take these steps to ensure you are not the next victim:

  • Never answer calls from phone numbers you don’t recognize
  • Never answer questions over the phone
  • Never confirm your phone number over the phone

Another way to handle the situation is to tell the caller you know they are a scam.  If your voice is recorded saying, “You are a scammer,” it will have no value to the caller and ensures your safety.

“Anyone who receives a phone call where the caller asks ‘Can you hear me?’ should say ‘no’ or nothing, and hang up,” Madigan said.

Victims should report these calls to the Federal Communications Commission or the attorney general’s office at IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.gov.