A new phone scam relies on a simple three-letter word to get you on the hook for things you didn’t purchase. Originally an American epidemic focused on businesses, the telephone scam has recently made its way to Canada and is now targeting average, everyday consumers.

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Described as the “new twist on a phone scam that can be very tricky to avoid”, the scam essentially tries to get individuals to answer ‘yes’ to one very simple question: “Can you hear me now?”

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Ron Mycholuk with the Better Business Bureau of Central and Northern Alberta explains:  “They’re going to take that recorded ‘yes’, play around with that audio and make it seem to you, or the representative of a business, that you have paid for some advertising, a cruise or a big ticket item, and send you the bill.”  

Although the scam is new to Canada (and no one has lost money from it yet), it accounts for 70% of the scams reported to Scam Tracker in the United States. Evan Kelly, a spokesperson for the British Columbia Better Business Bureau, explains: “Our Scam Tracker in B.C. has just received the first few complaint, so we just want to warn the public that this is now starting to happen in our area.”

 

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