ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- "Can you hear me?" It is a simple question, but the Ramapo and Orangetown police departments say answering "yes" could make you the victim of a new scam taking off across the nation.
If you do receive such a call, don't be fooled, it's not a Verizon commercial, it's scammers looking for you to say that one word so they can use it to authorize charges on a phone or credit charge, police said.
The best way to prevent becoming part of the scam is to simply hang up if you receive such a call, police said.
The scheme works by the fraudsters recording your answer, which they then use to say you have agreed to the charge or to pay that utility bill.
In most cases, the criminal already has some of your personal information, such as a phone bill or credit card number, before calling. Police and consumer protection officials said it's okay, and even important, for residents to be impolite and just hang up when receiving such calls.
If you think you have already been part of the scam, check your credit card bills, phone and utility statements for any unwarranted charges. If there are unwanted charges, call the company and dispute the charge. You might have to go as far as filing a criminal complaint with the police to dispute the claim.