The Ulster County District Attorney's Office is saying that the “can you hear me" telephone scam is unproven.

According to those reports, the scam begins with an unsolicited phone call. After the caller makes contact they ask the recipient “Can you hear me?” to elicit a response of “yes,” and a potential onslaught of unauthorized charges ensues.

According to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Division of Consumer Affairs, no scenario has yet been identified under which a scammer could authorize charges in another person’s name simply by possessing a voice recording of that person saying “yes,” without already possessing a good deal of personal and account information for that person, and without being able to reproduce any of form of verbal response from that person.

If such a scenario existed, it’s hard to imagine why scammers would need to utilize an actual audio recording of the victim repeating the word “yes” rather than simply providing that response themselves.

It’s unlikely phone companies, utilities, and credit card issuers maintain databases of voice recordings of their customers and use them to perform real-time audio matching to verify identities during customer service calls.

This purported scam, for now, seems to be more a suggestion of a hypothetical crime scheme than a real one that is actually robbing victims of money. Still, Consumer Affairs advises screening all calls to avoid interacting with scammers, or to simply hang up on suspicious callers.

Consumer Affairs can be reached at (845) 340-3260.

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