Phone scams are getting trickier and trickier. It’s gotten so bad that some people are using methods to block all calls coming from someone who isn’t in their contact list. But they’re risking missing important calls from people who don’t regularly contact them.
There’s a recent — and incredibly malicious — phone scam, though, that you can identify within the first several seconds of a call. Just listen for the stranger on the other end say four key words.
According to MSN, phone scammers are now asking unsuspecting people “Can you hear me?” right at or near the beginning of a call. If you reply “yes,” you’ve been snared into their scheme.
What they’re doing is recording your “yes” reply as a verbal confirmation they can use to access your personal accounts, change your settings, make purchases, and steal your information. As EurWeb describes, your voice saying “yes” is essentially a voice signature that thieves can use to access your life.
So how do you keep from being a victim? Aside from chucking your cellphone into the nearest body of water, just listen for the “Can you hear me?” phrase and avoid saying “yes” until you know for sure that you’re talking to a legitimate company.
Don’t be afraid to question the caller, and don’t be afraid to hang up if you get leery. Also, government agencies like the IRS, DMV, and Social Security Administration won’t call you over the phone out of the blue, according to CBS News. So if you get a call from them that’s not in reply to a previous phone call you made, then know that the person you’re speaking with probably isn’t from the government.
Another easy method is to simply screen all of your calls from unknown numbers. Scammers rarely leave messages.
But what do you do if you pick up the phone and accidentally say “yes” before realizing you’re being scammed? Do what you would do anytime you think your online information may be been compromised. Check with your bank and credit card company and look for any odd charges with any other services you manage online. It’s a good practice to monitor those accounts on a regularly basis anyway with the number of fraudsters there are lurking about these days.
Police explain more about how to identify and avoid this scam in the video below: