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Warning issued over one word you should never say if you think you’re on a scam call

Warning issued over one word you should never say if you think you’re on a scam call

The seemingly innocent question could see you become the victim of a new cold call scam

Let’s be honest, the majority of us have experienced some kind of scam attempt by now.

If you’ve got a mobile number, an email address or some kind of social media presence, you’ve probably had at least one weird message or cold call.

Whether it’s someone pretending to be your bank, someone asking about an accident you have no idea of or someone catfishing as your favourite celebrity and asking you for money, a scam’s a scam.

But some are more obvious than others, and it’s important to be on the alert so you don’t end up the victim of one.

To help you out in that case, there’s a warning over the one word you should never say if you think you’ve ended up on a scam call.

Don't say this word. (Getty stock image)
Don't say this word. (Getty stock image)

While you’re on the phone to even one of your mates, you might hear them ask: “Can you hear me?”

Understandably, you’d usually respond to that – it’d be weird if you didn’t, right?

But apparently your reply could help scammers.

Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit tracking bad adverts and customer complaints in North America, has issued an alert that questions like that and ‘are you there?’ or ‘is this you?’ are signs of a fast-growing scam.

Melanie McGovern, BBB’s director of public relations and social media told Huffpost that since last month there’s been a rise in concern about this scam.

It apparently all starts with a stranger on the phone asking: “Can you hear me?”

The scam is on the rise. (Getty stock image)
The scam is on the rise. (Getty stock image)

And this is simply an attempt to get you to reply with: “Yes.”

Often they’ll hang up shortly after you’ve confirmed because their goal is just to get you saying ‘yes’ so they know someone is there.

Kelly Richmond Pope, a professor of forensic accounting at DePaul University added that a random ‘can you hear me?’ should be your first red flag the call is a scam. She says it’s suspicious ‘because it’s so outside of the typical conversational cycle’.

BBB suggests that in a worst-case scenario, a recording of you saying ‘yes’ could be used to authorise charges on your phone.

Pope added: “You never know how your audio voice of you saying ‘yes’ can be used, spliced in any kind of call with a bank or call with a credit card company to open a line of credit.”

But before you start panicking about saying ‘yes’, BBB said there’s not been any reports of monetary losses after these ‘can you hear me?’ calls so far.

If you're suspicious a call's a scam, your best bet is to just hang up straight away.

Featured Image Credit: Getty stock images

Topics: Technology, Money