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This phone scam uses your voice to rob you, and is therefore terrifying

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The next time an unknown number calls you and asks: “Can you hear me?” do absolutely anything else other than say “yes”. Say “no”, put the phone down, throw it towards the nearest sun – anything, just don’t say “yes”.

The reason for this is, it’s a scam. What these shysters do is call you up, ask the question, and if you say “yes”, then they’ve got your voice signature. They’ve got your voice replying in the affirmative and they can use that for sneaky, slimy-handed stuff. That’s because your voice signature saying “yes” can legally be used in place of an actual signature for certain things – like, I dunno, getting bare money out of your bank.

The annoying thing is, these tricky tricky tricksters will pretend to be from a company you recognise and/or trust, like your bank, or a mortgage lender, or Bangbros, so you’ve got to be absolutely sure you’re speaking to the right person, which is difficult. If someone from your bank calls up and asks the same question, maybe say “I can hear you” or “big time” or “I think the question we need to be asking is, can you hear ME?” Anything but “yes”, until you’re sure who you’re talking to.

It’s a bit like the Yes Or No Game you used to play as a kid, where people had to ask you a series of questions but you weren’t allowed to say “yes” or “no” or “affirmative” or “I don’t know” etc., so you had to come up with ingenious answers like “I’m certainly not not a virgin.” It was all very fun.

Anyway, here’s the official statement from the FCC (who still won’t let me be): “According to complaints the FCC [The Federal Communications Commission] has received and public news reports, the fraudulent callers impersonate representatives from organisations that provide a service and may be familiar to the person receiving the call, such as a mortgage lender or utility, to establish a legitimate reason for trying to reach the consumer.”

Basically, never say “yes” on the phone ever again. Even when your boss calls you at 11am and asks “Are you coming in today?” You can never be too sure.

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