The Canton Regional Better Business Bureau offers tips and advice for consumers to avoid fraudulent practices. Today's Topic: "Can You Hear Me?" Call Scam Poses as Trip Advisor Representative.
The Concern: It's back! This winter, the "Can You Hear Me?" con (bbb.org/canyouhearme) was one of the most-reported scams in BBB Scam Tracker. It has returned this spring with a travel-themed twist: scammers are pretending to be from Trip Advisor.
How the Scam Works: You get a call from someone claiming to work for Trip Advisor. (Some attentive targets report that callers really say "a trip advisor.") Typically, the first thing the "Trip Advisor representative" asks is "Can you hear me?" Sometimes, the scammer claims to be having trouble with his/her headset.
Don't respond! Just hang up! If you say "yes," the caller will start to sell you a travel package.
In many cases, the scammer already has the person's credit card number or cable bill as the result of a data breach. These can be used to authorize third-party charges. When the victim disputes the charges, the scammer can use the recorded "yes" to confirm that they have consent.
What to Do with a "Can You Hear Me?" Con:
1. Just hang up and don't call back. You may end up giving scammers information they can use later.
2. Don't believe Caller ID. Caller ID spoofing makes it very easy for callers to pretend to be someone else.
Scammers have also posed as everyone from immigration authorities to utility company representatives to local police.
3. Join the Do Not Call Registry (DoNotCall.gov) to cut down on telemarketing and sales calls.
4. Always check your credit card, phone and cable statements carefully for any unfamiliar charges. If you suspect you have been victimized, call the billing company and dispute anything you did not authorize.
Visit bbb.org/canton to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, report a scam with Scam Tracker, read tips, follow us on social media, and more.