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Hudson Valley Police Departments Warn Of 'Cramming' Phone Scam

A new telephone scam starts with a simple question: Can you hear me? Police say anyone asked the question over the telephone should hang up immediately.
A new telephone scam starts with a simple question: Can you hear me? Police say anyone asked the question over the telephone should hang up immediately. Photo Credit: File photo

Police departments throughout the Hudson Valley are warning of a telephone scam known as "cramming" that begins with a simple question: Can you hear me?

Scammers have been calling people the last couple of months, asking the easily heard question and then recording the “yes” answer, according to police.

Then, they use the recorded “yes” as a voice signature to authorize charges on the victim’s utility or credit card accounts, police said.

"Cramming” is on the rise, police said, adding that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) described the phenomenon in a column last week while referring to an “explosion” in the number of robocalls made across the United States.

According to police, the FCC has recommended that those who have already fallen for the scam review their bank, credit card and utility statements for unauthorized charges.

Those who have not yet received such a call should be aware of the scam and hang up immediately if the question is posed by phone, authorities said.

According to FCC statistics, there were 29 billion robocalls made last year, or roughly 230 calls per household.

Anyone who finds unauthorized charges on any of their accounts should report the incident through the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracke r and the FCC Consumer Help Center .

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