Phone scams are on a dangerous rise. More than ever before, these scammers are gaining ground and swindling hard-working Americans of their hard-earned money. Recently, these scams have taken a more sophisticated dimension by using four seemingly harmless words.
Robocalls that begin with “Can you hear me?” have been instruments of impersonation, identity theft, and plunder. If you encounter this question after picking up a phone call, experts advise that you do not answer. It’s a scam call, and your response will likely be recorded and used to perpetrate fraud.
In a time when incidents of phone call scams have more than doubled, you must arm yourself with this precaution alongside the other popular ones. For example, don’t fall for the iPhone virus warnings and the fake security alert traps that fraudsters have used to lure people into clicking dangerous links and downloading malicious software.
Primarily, these phone call scams intend to access the receiver’s online accounts. A simple “yes” response from you is all they need. Thereafter, your voice is recorded and used to access your online accounts, impersonate you, and ultimately, steal your money or make purchases.
They only need to play the recording of the response whenever they are to authorize a login or purchase with your online accounts. Then before you know it, someone else, through your account, has bought an expensive piece of electronics or jewelry without your consent.
It may already be too late at this point. Before you can take action, the scammers, who are known for moving pretty swiftly, have probably gone far in plundering your accounts.
To make these robocalls sound like those of an actual human, these fraudsters borrow some help from modern technology. Experts have pointed accusing fingers at AI. According to Adam Gordon, an author at ITProTV blog and a veteran IT educator, “AI chatbots are so advanced that they give the ‘human touch,’ being able to masquerade as a human successfully in many cases, and can be indistinguishable from a human in situations like a phone call.”
A more ingenious version of these phone call scams begins with a “Sorry, I’m having issues with my headset,” to give some humanity to the caller.
Other phone call scams try to persuade receivers to disclose sensitive information such as bank or credit card details. Sometimes, these fraudsters design chatbots to communicate with potential victims.
Surprisingly, these robocalls are cheap to make. Little wonder they accounted for 60% of scam phone calls in 2021. According to Matthew Shirley, a cybersecurity expert, “Robocalls are incredibly cheap, costing only handfuls of dollars to send millions of calls. This leads to a surplus of scam call opportunities.”
To avoid losing money or valuable info to these phone call scammers, you should consider not answering phone calls from strange numbers. Also, never divulge sensitive information over the phone to a stranger. In addition, try to sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry or install a call-blocking app.
If you have responded to the scam calls or your online accounts have been breached and a purchase made, you must act as fast as you can. Notify the company in charge of the payment and make a complaint. Then change your passwords.