When your phone rings with an unknown number and you hear someone ask “Can you hear me?” you need to hang up. The Better Business Bureau warns of a sharp increase in the number reports of the Can You Hear Me Scam, that could end up costing you more than you’d believe.
During the last few days, more than half of the scam reports to the BBB Scam Tracker are from consumers who’ve received calls trying to trick them into saying “Yes”.
At first glance, this sounds like a fake warning. You’re probably wondering what a scammer could do with a recording of you saying, “Yes.” As it turns out there is a lot that can happen with one word.
The scammer is not going to use the recording of you saying yes t0 try to get into your bank or any of your accounts. Banks don’t use voice recognition and you’re not Richie Rich, so it’s not to get into your vault or to spoof your identity — but it could still cost you real money.
If you answer “Yes,” to a call that asks “Can you hear me?” or to a similar question at the start of a call you may hand over everything the scammer needs to start billing your phone number for premium services. The BB warns that a, “Yes.” can be, “edited to make it sound like you authorized a major purchase.”
In these cases, the scammer already has your phone number to attach charges to or may be targeting you specifically based on other information.
Many times the calls are for vacation packages, cruises, warranties and other high-dollar items. You may not know you’ve been charged for quite some time. You can hear an example of a Can You Hear Me Scam below.
The BBB warns users not to answer unfamiliar numbers. Specifically, if someone asks, “Can you hear me?” right away you should hang up. It sounds rude, but many times these are simply robo callers that include pauses to make you think you are talking to a real person.
On the iPhone or Android, you can install the Hiya app which will help you screen calls and even block known scam phone numbers. The app is free and very helpful at screening calls that could cause these problems.
If you still use a home phone, or if you are trying to keep your parents or another user safe from these types of calls, Ooma is an excellent option. This home phone service is much cheaper than paying a cable company and there is an option to block anonymous calls, known spammers, and suspected spammers so the phone doesn’t even ring.
Mint Budgeting App
Mint is one of the best budget apps because it takes the hassle out of making a budget. You connect the Mint app to your bank and the app can use your details to help create a personalized budget.
The Mint app uses the same security as banks and the team behind this service also makes TurboTax and Quicken, so you can trust that they take all possible steps to secure your accounts and your data.
Mint will send you alerts to unusual charges and helps identify tips customized to your spending that can help you reduce the money you spend on fees and on other bills. Mint also includes your credit score, so you can see a big picture view of your budget and your personal finances.
With the Mint apps for iPhone, iPad and Android you can see your budget anywhere and there is also an online component to look at from your computer and a bill pay component to help you manage and pay your bills in one place.