IF you receive a call from an unknown person who asks ‘can you hear me?’, then be on your guard - and don't say yes.

People across the country have been warned about a possible new scam that is thought to be hitting the UK after doing the rounds in the US.

The exchange involves someone asking the call recipient ‘can you hear me’, eliciting the answer ‘yes’.

The caller purportedly records the other person saying ‘yes’, and then uses that recording later to claim the victim has authorised a major purchase.

It has been reported that this may be used as a verbal contract, just like clicking ‘I agree’ on a computer.

It is called a voice signature and is used legitimately by companies to show when someone has agreed to something.

CPR Call Blocker, makers of call blocking devices in the US and UK, says this attempted scam has risen in frequency in the United States, however doubts have been raised.

Snopes, the American fact-checking website, says it can find no instances of people yet being defrauded, and says: "The “Can you hear me?” scam for now seems to be more a suggestion of a hypothetical crime scheme than a real one that is actually robbing victims of money."

Kris Hicks of CPR Call Blocker is urging the British public to simply put the phone down to unsolicited callers who pose that question.

He said: “Victims in the US have received a phone call from a familiar local area code and the other person on the other end of the line introduces themselves and their business.

“I know that people think it’s impolite to hang up, but it’s a good strategy. If you don’t recognise the number, don't answer.

“In our experience of working across the US and UK, scams spread quickly across the pond so it is sensible for people to be on their guard as we have no doubt that fraudsters operating in the UK will soon start using these tactics.”

If anyone receives such a call, they are urged to contact Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040.