The National Cybersecurity Institute (Incibe), an organization under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Transformation, warned of a strong reason for not responding “yes” when you pick up the phone if there is a call.
The reason for the warning is that you can be more vulnerable to the actions of cybercriminals because the monosyllable used in our daily activities can be recorded and used for criminal acts and to scam you.
In their constant process of sharpening their intelligence, cybercriminals have identified new ways to exploit users to achieve their goals and scam you: record your voice.
— INCIBE (@INCIBE) September 20, 2023
Simply saying “yes” can be a gateway to many problems. By recording our voice, scammers can use it to authorize financial transactions, and contracts or even to falsify our identity. In addition, voice recordings can also be manipulated and used as evidence in situations that could put our reputation at risk.
These are the steps, which you should watch carefully, where they can scam you.
The initial call. The victim receives a phone call from a scammer pretending to be a representative of a bank, sales service, customer service, support, or others. The scammer often mentions basic personal information about the victim to gain their trust. They may also call the victim and if “yes” no one answers.
Contact and ask. The scammer starts a conversation with the victim and may ask seemingly harmless questions to get “yes” answers. These questions may include phrases such as “Do you allow transactions at this time?” or “Do you agree to receive updates to our services?” It is common for cybercriminals to remain silent while waiting for an affirmative response from the victim and hang up after a few seconds without a response.
Record the answer. The scammer patiently waits for the victim to answer “yes” to any questions, while he records everything using the application.
Use of voice recording. With the voice recording in their possession, the scammer will try to use it to register for banking services in the name of the victim, survey on their behalf, etc. You can do this by calling the financial or service institution and providing the voice recording as proof of identity.
How to act in these cases
If you find yourself in a situation where you have said “yes” to a phone call and you suspect it is a scam attempt, it is important to act quickly, stay calm and act rationally.
Hang up if you suspect it’s a scam or if you’re uncomfortable with the situation. Of course without giving any additional information and avoiding prolonging the conversation.
Verify the legitimacy of whether that financial entity, company, or organization made the call. Contact them to verify the call. Do not use the contact details provided by the said scammer, as they may be false.
Monitor your bank accounts and credit cards for any unusual activity. If you notice any unauthorized transactions, notify your bank immediately.
Change passwords and security codes on your accounts that could be compromised to be more secure.
Save records and any relevant evidence, such as phone numbers, call recordings, emails, or text messages received during the scam. They can be useful in informing the authorities and supporting any future claims.
Finally, report the scam with a corresponding complaint to State Security Forces and Bodies and provide all the details and evidence you have.