Is a weird phone number calling you? Never answer "yes" to this question

ByJames Dennin

Financial scams come in all shapes and forms.

One of the most irritating is phone scams, a popular tactic among fraudsters. Indeed, an infuriatingly simple scam is making the rounds, according to a recent report out of KTLA in Los Angeles.

In each case, scammers call potential victims, and ask, "Can you hear me?" 

The thieves get you to say the word "yes," record it, and then use that as proof you consented to some charges on your credit card. 

Victims have been reported to police in Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania. 

The really scary part of this scam?

If you try to contest the charges they put through, the criminals use the recording as evidence against you with your payments processor. 

There are a few different versions of this scam going around. 

Sometimes, if the thieves have your credit card number already, they'll run up the charges ahead of time — and only then use their recording of your voice to give consent to your credit card processor. 

In another example, people pretended to be with a polling company, and called up households asking if they had a dog. 

Because nothing is sacred to these people. 

Police told KTLA that most of the time, the area code will be familiar, and caution that it's generally best practice to avoid accepting any calls from phone number that you don't know. 

So if anyone starts off the call with a "Can you hear me?" — just hang up immediately. You might then report the phone scam to the Federal Trade Commission.

Just generally nervous about credit card and identity theft?

Take proactive steps to protect yourself.

Sign up for The Payoff, your weekly crash course on how to live your best financial life. Additionally, for all your burning money questions, check out Mic’s creditsavingscareerinvesting and health care hubs for more information — that pays off.