When is a scam not a scam?

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This was passed to us by a chatbox contributor.
It's a bit complicated so you need to concentrate...

Many newspapers are reporting on a purported scam wherein fraudsters supposedly falsify charges by randomly calling people and asking 'Can you hear me?'

Snopes.com report

'In late January 2017, news outlets across the United States reported on a purported "can you hear me?" telephone scam. According to those reports, the scam begins with an unsolicited phone call to the putative mark. After the caller makes contact they ask the recipient "Can you hear me?" to elicit a response of "yes," and a potential onslaught of unauthorized charges ensues.'

Similar reports are appearing now in UK newspapers.

It sounds plausible at first, but sounded pretty fishy and smacks of lazy journalism

Snopes.com is a well regarded site for information on the legitimacy of some of the stories that circulate -- read their analysis here.

They conclude 'the "Can you hear me?" scam for now seems to be more a suggestion of a hypothetical crime scheme than a real one that is actually robbing victims of money. In messages we left with the BBC, the FTC, and the Consumer Federation of America, we asked a question absent from all the news reports we've encountered about this scam: "Are there any documented cases of people being victimized in this manner?" We have not yet received any affirmative response to those queries.'

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