Well, this sounds polite and innocuous, but can your courtesy flip you on your head? Can a simple word response like “yes” be all that bad? I mean, if you don’t like chocolate ice cream, I suppose “no” might be a response; however, what if you received what appears to be a telemarketing call and caller asked you if your name was, “Bob Smith”  If you are Bob Smith, you will likely respond with, “yes”.  Even other simple questions like, “Can you hear me or do you live at 123 Main Street or are you the homeowner” might trigger a “yes’” response.

What is the big deal with this “yes” response? You say yes 100 times a day to various questions and do not end up flipped on your head over it. In most ethical phone calls, saying yes warrants no concern unless the person on the other end of the line is a threat actor – a hacker – or a bad individual with desires to use your voice for other nefarious desires.

This is an older scam with little sophistication to the scam itself. The goal is to get you to say yes and to record your voice and further use that yes response for other reasons. This scam is generally targeted towards businesses; however, is now targeting individuals.

Let us get to the meat and potatoes of this “yes” thing. Hmmm, I bet you like meat and potatoes as well. Did you say “yes”? Your voice can be used to sign you up for assorted services the threat actors are engaged in, such as subscription services. When you finally approach the threat actor’s customer service line to query the charge, they will prove to you that you said “yes” to the approval of purchase and that leaves you in a bit of a quandary.

If you are not responding as the threat actors wish, you may be asked to press a number on your phone keypad for things like, “Would you like to be removed from our calling list?” and by pressing the right keypad entry, this is a “yes” response.

How about we ramp this up a notch. Have you ever heard of Artificial Intelligence (AI)? If you have, then you know where this is headed. Getting you to say yes and other responses helps build a language library against you. In fact, getting as much conversation from you as possible allows the AI to build on your speech, patterns, dialect, and nuisances. The AI engines can now build on this for other speech assembly and further create full sentences based on your samples.

To avoid being defrauded or having your phone number verified, here are a few ideas, some of them being obvious.

  • Do not answer phone calls from numbers you do not recognize
  • Never give out personal information
  • Recognize if you are being led down a path to “yes” responses and hang up the phone
  • Report the suspicious call to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Do Not Call Registry
  • Check your important accounts for mal activity

Stay vigilant, protect yourself and if you have any questions, please contact Ion Technology Group, 1.856.719.1818 x201, and we would be happy to assist. Have a great computing day 😊

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