New phone scam set to hit UK

If you receive a call from an unknown number and the cold caller asks "Can you hear me?" hang up immediately.

Police are warning to remain vigilant when answering calls as a new phone scam is set to sweep over the UK from the USA.

Criminals are using voice signatures, obtained in the fraudulent calls, to purchase products or services that have not been authorised.

How does it work?

  • You will receive a call on your mobile phone from a local number
  • The individual on the phone will then introduce themselves and the organisation they are calling on behalf of.
  • They will then ask: “Can you hear me?”
  • Your answer is recorded and saved to be used as vocal recognition for charged services without your knowledge.

If the charges are disputed, services will play back your recording, and may threaten to take legal action if outstanding payments are unpaid.

The scammers can also use your voice recording to authorise a stolen credit card.

CPR Call Blocker has reported a rise in the scam recently and they are warning that people in the UK will soon be targeted as well.

Kris Hicks, from CPR Call Blocker, said: “In our experience of working across the US and UK, scams spread quickly across the pond. We have no doubt that fraudsters operating in the UK will soon start using these tactics.”

Hoax-busting website Snopes.com classified the scam as “unproven” as well as portraying questions about how it would actually work.

The site’s research has also yet to discover how a mere voice recording of someone saying “yes” could authorise charges without extensive, additional information.

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