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Area Police Warn of Telephone 'Can You Hear Me' Scam

By Submitted Report
The Tube City Almanac
February 06, 2017
Posted in: Crime and Police News

Wilkins Twp. police are warning area residents about another possible telephone-based marketing scam.

In a release over the weekend, police warned that some telemarketers are reportedly calling people and asking them "Can you hear me?" When the person being called responds "yes," the telemarketer records that as proof that the person they called has agreed to purchase a product or service, and then bills or charges the person.

The Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania reports that they have also received reports of the scam dating back to October, in which the callers identified themselves as being from a home security agency, a cruise line or associated with Social Security.

(However, a writer for the non-profit Snopes.com website, which tracks misinformation and hoaxes that circulate on the Internet, was unable to confirm whether anyone has actually been scammed in this manner. Meaning that the hoax itself may be a hoax.)

Township police said homeowners and businesses should in any event be cautious when answering the phone.

A police spokesperson said:

  • If you have Caller ID, don't answer calls from numbers that you don't recognize;
  • Never give out your personal information to someone who called you;
  • Review your credit card and bank accounts regularly for suspicious activity; and
  • If you receive a call and the caller seems to be trying to fish for a "yes" or "no" answer, just hang up.

You can report unwanted telemarketing calls to the Federal Communications Commission or to the Federal Trade Commission.

Originally published February 06, 2017.

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