Life Hacker – “Some scammers just want to hear the sound of your voice—and definitely not in a good way. Being asked “can you hear me?” by a caller might seem innocent enough, but even a one-word answer of “yes” could put you at risk of a scam. In rare cases, phone scammers can record your voice with the intent to impersonate you in order to make fraudulent purchases, but it’s more likely they’re simply confirming your phone number is active and can be used or sold for scams later. Either way, you should avoid affirmative responses to unfamiliar callers—or better yet, just let those calls go to voicemail. According to the FTC and Better Business Bureau (BBB), these scam calls have a familiar pattern: When you answer the phone, there might be some fumbling around on the other end of the line, and a person might say “I’m having trouble with my headset.” This is followed by a yes/no question like “can you hear me?” Even though this sounds like it’s coming from a real person, often these are robocalls playing pre-recorded messages. When you say yes, it lets the scammer know that your number is active and that you’re willing to answer calls (not to mention it’s also a pretty good, disarming tactic to keep you on the line). This allows the scammer to then sell your number to other telemarketers for a higher price…”
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