Virginia authorities have identified a new phone scam.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to the Virginia officials, a new phone scam has been discovered circulating the state. Called the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ scam, this new method is used by criminals in order to make people authorize extra charges on their phone bill, utility bill, and even on their credit cards. Authorities said that the purpose of the scam is to record a ‘Yes’ answer from the owner, which they will use later for a nefarious purpose.

The new phone scam identified by Virginia authorities is not entirely new since various Pennsylvania phone owners have reported received anonymous calls from individuals asking ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ questions over the past year.

According to state officials, the new phone scam tricks the owners into saying ‘Yes’ over the phone. The perpetrator records the answer, which he will later use for unauthorized operations. This scam can be used to charge the owner extra on his phone bill or utility bill and even to unlocked cloned credit cards.

Usually, the perpetrators will pose as official state agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, the IRS, and even Social Security. In addition, the authorities said that the question asked over the phone can vary.

For example, some of the phone owners who got scammed reported being asked the following questions: ‘are you the homeowner?’, ‘are you the lady of the house?’, or ‘are the one paying all the household phone bill?’.

In general, the authorities said that all questions are formulated as to trick the owner into receiving a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. So, what can we do in order to protect ourselves against the new phone scam?

Susan Grant of the Consumer Federation of America said that the best defense is not answering the phone when someone outside your contact list calls you. However, if you do pick up the phone, try to answer the inquiry as vaguely as possible.

For example, if someone asks you something like ‘can you hear me?’ you should say something like ‘who are you and why do you want to know?’.

Grant also said that owners who believe they were the victim of a phone scam should immediately contact their carrier or utility agency and to check for any unauthorized charges. As for illegal credit card transactions, Grant said that it’s best to contact the Federal Trade Commission for disputing any unauthorized activity.

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