Older adults have a greater risk of falling for something that seems like an innocent phone conversation. To make matters worse, phone scammers are finding ever more devious ruses to trick people.
One of today’s most cunning robocall schemes seems harmless, but a single word could result in long-lasting problems for the receiver.

“Can You Hear Me?”

If you answer the phone and someone asks if you can hear them, hang up.  Otherwise you might fall victim to their scam. Sometimes the person will offer an embarrassed laugh or say something about having trouble with their headset. Even though it sounds like a lifelike situation, it’s actually a recording.
The goal of a simple question, such as “can you hear me?” is designed to get you to say “yes.” Later, this “yes” is used as an affirmation to sign up for items that you didn’t order. Even though you were simply stating that you could hear the other person, your answer is recorded and used out of context to provide false evidence that you agreed to pay for whatever they were offering.

Evolution of Natural-Speech Technology

Technology continues to evolve. This provides scammers newer and better ways to trick people over the phone. These automated chatbots are intuitive agents that can manage conversations with humans. Experts predict that within a few years, consumers on the phone might not be able to distinguish between a machine or a real person.

What to do When You Answer This Call

To repeat, unless you recognize the caller, the best thing that you can do is hang up. Don’t make the mistake of saying anything that could be misconstrued.
Also, it’s important to warn your family and friends about this new scam. This is especially true for older adults, such as aging parents. For more information about chatbots and other scams, email info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or phone 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound.