‘Can you hear me?’ phone scam reported in Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is warning residents after a new phone scam has been reported in the Buckeye State.

FOX 8 News told you about the “Can you hear me?” scam in Virginia last week. The callers are trying to get consumers to say “Yes.” The response is recorded and used to make unauthorized charges on phone or utility bills.

“Any time people receive a call that’s suspicious, we encourage them to be very careful and not to respond to the call,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “When in doubt, just hang up. If you need help or if you suspect a scam, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.”

On Monday, DeWine said several Ohioans have reported the suspicious calls since Friday. The calls come from a local phone number, like the 614 area code for Columbus or 330 from the Akron and Canton areas.

The Ohio Attorney General said residents should follow these tips:

  • Don’t respond to suspicious calls. Let the calls go to voicemail, or hang up if a call seems questionable in any way, especially if it’s an automated telemarketing call (or “robocall”), which is used commonly in scams.
  • Don’t always trust caller ID. Even when calls appear to come from an Ohio phone number, the numbers could be spoofed or the calls could be made over the Internet, meaning the caller could be located somewhere else entirely.
  • Check your phone bill and your credit card statements regularly. If you find suspicious charges, immediately report them to your provider.

If you want to report a scam, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at ohioprotects.org or 800-282-0515.