CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. – Clarkstown police are warning of a telephone scam that begins with a simple question: Can you hear me?
Scammers have been calling people the last couple of months, asking the easily heard question and then recording the “yes” answer, according to police.
Then, they use the recorded “yes” as a voice signature to authorize charges on the victim’s utility or credit card accounts, police said.
According to police, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recommended that those who have already fallen for the scam review their bank, credit card and utility statements for unauthorized charges.
Those who have not yet received such a call should be aware of the scam and hang up immediately if the question is posed by phone, authorities said.
Known as “cramming,” the practice is on the rise, police said, adding that the FCC described the phenomenon in a column last week while referring to an “explosion” in the number of robocalls made across the United States.
Citing FCC statistics, Clarkstown police said there were 29 billion robocalls made last year, or roughly 230 calls per household.