SPOKANE, Wash. - A new phone scam is trapping Americans with a single word.
The scam begins as soon as you answer the phone.
When you answer, a voice at the other end asks 'Can you hear me?'
Once you respond 'yes' that's all they need.
Investigators say the scammers are recording your voice for a reason.
We've warned you about phone scams in the past.
A few months ago an elderly couple in Spokane was tricked out of nearly 300 thousand dollars.
Now the government is warning of this growing phone scam.
Teresa Thomas received the call at home in Minneapolis.
“She was giggling and she said 'Oh I didn't expect you to pick up! Can you hear me?'” said Thomas.
Here's how it works:
You pick up, the voice on the line asks 'can you hear me?' and when you answer 'yes' they start recording.
They can use that 'yes' to authorize future charges.
Thomas was lucky.
“If it sounds fishy, hang up and don't provide any information of course about you,” she said.
Experts are urging caution not to answer calls from unknown numbers, take advantage of any free robo call blocking service from your phone carrier and reporter suspicious numbers to the FCC.
The elderly couple in Spokane was tricked using a different phone scam than the one we are telling you about tonight, showing that these new scams are continuing to pop up.
We want you to know there are many scams going around right now.
The most common include free vacations, loan scams, lower electric bill scams and IRS scams.
One more possible red flag in this scam is if the callers asks if you want to be added to the do not call registry.
The government will never phone you to ask this question. Just hang up.