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Pinedale Online > News > April 2023 > ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Scam advisory
‘Can You Hear Me?’ Scam advisory
April 12, 2023

The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office is advising about a scam that has been circulating in our area recently and neighboring states. The victim receives a phone call and the first thing the caller asks is, "Can you hear me?" After the person says "Yes," the next thing the caller asks is "Is your name ‘insert name here’?". To which the victim usually says "Yes." At this point, the caller hangs up.

Since 2017, the Federal Trade Commission and other scam-alerting organizations have been warning about "Can You Hear Me?" scams. The point of the call is to get the victim to say "yes" during the call, and they will later use a recording of that answer to authorize unwanted charges on the victim’s accounts.

If you have already responded to this type of call, review all your statements such as from your bank, credit card lender, and telephone company for unauthorized charges. Anyone who believes they have been targeted by this scam should immediately report the incident to the FTC Report FraudCenter

Other scams:
Missing Person Scam

Another scam that has appeared locally such as on Sublette For Sale Facebook page and other groups is often a plea for help about a missing elderly person, child or pet in an emergency, but doesn’t have many details about when or where or contact information. If you are unsure if this is a real active case, check with the local Sheriff’s Office before repeating or sharing a post. Sharing the post might put your social media account in jeopardy.

Free Puppies to Forever Home Scam
Another scam targets media businesses that offer classified ad services as well as animal-lovers who see these scam ads. These are requests for ads about free puppies and other pets to give away. They say things such as ‘Free to forever homes’ and give a name, email and phone number, but no location information. Before posting those classifieds, do a quick Google search on the name and phone number and see if they come back as repeated ads in multiple other places. It will become quickly apparent if this is a local person or someone blasting ads all over the country. Often the ad has identical wording in ads placed years apart. These animals don’t stay puppies that long, so be wary. For animal lovers who see these ads and want to respond, note that the catch is they say the puppy is free, but the owner just wants a "rehoming" fee, which can amount to hundreds of dollars. They give some explanation like they are moving into an apartment that won’t allow pets, or they need the puppies gone by some certain date. Victims who respond and agree to the payment often pay through online apps. They never get the pet, or the owner says before they can get the animal to the victim, the dog owner asks for even more money for some reason. Don’t be fooled by the picture of the cute animal along with the ad. These photos are often stolen from legitimate pet source’s online pages. Before giving out any money, do a Google search on the person’s name, email, or phone number, or do a reverse image search on the picture to see if it has been lifted. Better yet, instead of responding to a classified ad, adopt a real pet you can meet in person and fall in love with at a local animal shelter.

Pinedale Online > News > April 2023 > ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Scam advisory

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