Johnson City couple targeted by scam phone call; Better Business Bureau warns don’t say “yes”


JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – A phone scam heard across the country is now in the Tri-Cities region.

Dozens of News Channel 11 viewers have said a 423 number is calling asking “can you hear me now?”

The Better Business Bureau said a “yes” response to that question could end badly. The BBB sent out a warning that scammers could use that “yes” to get in your wallet.

Johnson City police told News Channel 11 they aren’t looking into anything as of right now because there aren’t any reports of stolen money.

A Johnson City couple said they answered one of those scam calls and they want police to know about it.

Michael Ray wasn’t buying it when a 423 number called him Thursday afternoon.

“It just said Tennessee on it so I just answered it,” Michael Ray said.

That number wasn’t a friend; Ray said a male caller asked if he was interested in disability and social security services, he then asked him a question.

“He asked if I could I hear him,” Michael Ray said.

The BBB said consumers should not respond to “can you hear me now” because scammers might be trying to record a “yes” response to incur unwanted charges to a phone bill or credit card.

Michael’s wife Melissa Ray received similar calls just two weeks ago.

“I said not interested and I hung up but in a few more minutes he called back and I said I told you I’m not interested and I hung up,” Melissa Ray said.

Neither of them called that number back at the time but when they eventually called back, they just heard music and static.

The Better Business Bureau said don’t answer unfamiliar numbers, don’t answer “yes”, report the call to their website and keep an eye on your bank accounts.

“This is a scam, it’s not something you want to get into,” Melissa Ray said.

Melissa Ray recommended writing the number down and calling police.

They’re hopeful this scam call won’t leave anyone in our community with an empty bank account.

So how can you be charged if you don’t give out a payment method?

CBS News reported the con artist already has your phone number and they may have your credit card number or a cable bill as the result of a data breach.

If you dispute the charge, your recording of you saying “yes” could be used against you to say you gave consent on a recorded line.

News Channel 11 will be in touch with Johnson City Police for any further developments.See also: BBB: ‘If caller asks, ‘Can you hear me?’, just hang upCopyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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