Once upon a time, you could sign up for the federal ‘Do Not Call’ list, and be reasonably assured you wouldn’t get many if any, random marketing calls. But changes in the cell phone industry have opened the door to a whole new level of unsolicited calls now, and there doesn’t seem to be any list you can opt into that will keep you safe.
One genre of such calls that is being used more and more is as devious as they come, largely because it appears, on the surface, to be so innocuous. But if you get a call from anyone you don’t know where the first thing they say is “Can you hear me?” you should immediately hang up without responding.
The reason? The caller is asking you this question not because they care about your call quality: they want to get a clean recording of your own voice saying “yes,” which they will then use to verify online transactions that could potentially max out your credit cards.
Although we are not aware that most merchants match voice input to pre-recorded voice records, apparently, it’s worth a scammer taking the time to get your own voice down, so it must count for something.
How can you avoid this unfortunate situation? Experts say the simplest way is to just not answer any calls from unknown numbers, or those that pop up saying “unknown” on your cell phone. If for some reason you forget and do answer, be sure not to respond with “yes” to any questions the caller may ask you.
Of course, the smartest thing to do is to simply hang up without saying a word. That way, you never have to worry about saying too much, or the wrong thing, to someone who could use your own words against you.
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