'Can you hear me' phone scam sparks warning

SCAM: There is a new phone scam doing the rounds in Mackay.
SCAM: There is a new phone scam doing the rounds in Mackay. Kerry Thomas

A NEW phone scam doing the rounds worldwide has hit Mackay.

The "can you hear me?" phone scam has reportedly been prolific in the United States and United Kingdom since early 2017, and weeks ago began causing havoc in Australia.

On Monday, April 24, Mackay police were notified of their first "can you hear me?" call after a scammer rang the home number of a police volunteer.

A call is made to a business or home number and once the person answers the scammer simply asks "can you hear me?" several times, to which most people answer with "yes".

The scammer then records the "yes" response and ends the call.

The recording is then used to authorise payments or charges in the victim's name, a difficult task to dispute at a later date.

Senior Constable Steve Smith said if scammers are able to obtain the victim's mobile phone number and any sensitive identification information, there can be serious and legitimate reasons to be concerned.

"Our advice to combat this phone scam is simply to spread the word, share this information," he said.

"If you receive a 'can you hear me?' phone call, hang up and don't respond.

"If you did respond with a 'yes' alert your financial institution, begin to monitor your accounts closely and contact ID care."

Topics:  mackay police phone scam phone scammers police scam scammers

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