Beware of the ‘Say Yes’ phone scam

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Have you ever received a call from an unknown number, only to be greeted with the question, “Can you hear me?” This is a common tactic used in the “Say Yes” phone scam, which has been around for a while and is once again making the rounds, according to the Better Business Bureau.

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It’s important to be aware of this scam and others like it to avoid falling victim to them. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself.

What is the ‘Say Yes’ phone scam?

The “Say Yes” phone scam is a type of fraud where a person receives a call from an unknown number. If they answer it, the robocaller on the other end of the line will ask a question that prompts the victim to say “yes.” 

This could be something as simple as “Can you hear me?” or a more specific question like “Is this [your name]?” or “Do you have time to talk?” The goal of the scammer is to record the victim saying “yes.”

A woman talks on a phone while looking at a smartphone screen

Scammers can record your voice saying “yes” and attempt to use it to authorize credit card charges. (CyberGuy.com)

What the victim doesn’t realize is that “yes” is being voice recorded, and once the robocaller has that “yes,” they can use it for whatever they want while pretending to be you. They might use it to authorize charges to your credit card or cellphone bill, to sign up for a program that you’d be charged for or something else.

MORE: HOW TO AVOID BEING DUPED BY ROBOCALLS NOW AND FOREVER

What if I got a call like this, and I said yes?

If this “Say Yes” phone scam sounds like something you’ve experienced before, there’s no need to panic. It’s not a guarantee that your voice will definitely be used for something that will affect you negatively.  

However, it is important to be cautious when answering calls from unknown numbers and to be aware of the potential for this type of scam. You should also keep an eye on your bank and credit card statements and make sure that there aren’t any charges on there that you did not authorize. I also recommend if you do receive a call like this, that you report it to the BBB Scam Tracker.

Stock image shows the word scam

The “Say Yes” scam can target anyone. (CyberGuy.com)

What can I do to protect myself in the future?

Although these robocall scams are common, there are plenty of ways you can protect yourself from them. Here are some of my suggestions.

MORE: HOW TO GET RID OF ROBOCALLS WITH APPS AND DATA REMOVAL SERVICES

Don’t pick up

If you’re getting a call from a number that you don’t recognize, don’t answer it. You’re better off letting the number go to voicemail than risking the chance of your voice being recorded for something you don’t want. If it turns out that the call was from a real person, you can always call them back.

Answer the question with a question

If you do end up answering the call and the caller is asking you a question right off the bat, avoid saying ‘yes.’ Instead of answering their question, give a question right back to them. 

You can ask them something like, “Who am I speaking to?” or “What is the purpose of your call?” Questioning them might scare them off and make them hang up anyway, so just make sure you’re avoiding saying the word yes at all costs.

Stock image shows man yelling at telephone

Answering a robocaller’s question with a question can avoid falling victim to this scam. (CyberGuy.com)

Use a removal service 

To protect yourself from scammers getting your phone number in the first place, take steps to remove your personal information off the web with a data removal service. Although no service can guarantee the complete removal of all your data, having a removal service can be helpful in continuously monitoring and removing your information from hundreds of sites over a longer period of time. 

See my tips and best picks for removing yourself from the internet by heading to Cyberguy.com/Delete.

For more information about how you can prevent robocalls, click here.

Kurt’s key takeaways

Next time you receive a call from an unknown number and they ask, “Can you hear me?” be cautious. It could be the “Say Yes” phone scam trying to record your response. 

The solution is simple. Just avoid saying “yes” and use our tips to stay safe from robocall scams in the future. Remember, staying aware and protecting yourself is the key.

What more could phone companies be doing to protect you from ever receiving these types of robocall scams in the first place? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

For more of my tech tips and security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

Copyright 2023 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.

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