Unfamiliar Phone Number? You May Not Want to Answer

Officials with the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau are warning consumers of a scam affecting people in other states that could make its way to Wisconsin.

Police say if you get a phone call beginning with someone asking "can you hear me", you need to hang up.

The scammers record the call, so they now have a recording of you saying "Yes".

"Because of the nature of the communication, you could be making the call from anywhere, from India or Cleveland", police spokesperson Steve Hegarty said.

Do not forget to write down the phone number of callers who violate the Do Not Call Registry and file a scam report with BBB Scam Tracker and the FTC's Do Not Call List. "I know that people think it's impolite to hang up, but it's a good strategy", a consumer protection expert tells CBS.

"Can you hear me now?" Check your account statements for unfamiliar charges, and call the billing company to dispute any payments you didn't authorize. The caller, which is really a recording, explains that they're with a credit card company or warranty department. The question doesn't necessary have to be "can you hear me?" it could be "are you a homeowner?" or "do you pay the household bills?"

The BBB reminds residents that a government agency will not solicit for the Do Not Call Registry. People who have an actual reason to get in contact with you will likely leave a message; scammers won't.

An important thing to note: never trust any caller that says they are from a government or federal agency such as the DMV, Social Security, IRS, or court system. Many con artists use the aegis of authority to convince you to keep talking.

"A lot of times, victims don't want to come forward because they're embarrassed", Hughes said.