When you hear this question from an unknown number, don’t answer “Yes”: It’s a scam call!

Tram Ho

According to statistics from First Orion, phone scams have increased by 118% in the past year, and millions of people have fallen victim to having their money and identity stolen.

Recently, experts have warned about a new phone scam, in which the victim will receive an automated call with a simple 5-word question: “Can you hear me clearly? Are not?” . Fraudsters will record your answers and use it to conduct a phishing campaign.

Nghe điện thoại từ số lạ mà thấy câu hỏi này, tuyệt đối đừng trả lời là "Có": Đó là 1 cuộc gọi lừa đảo! - Ảnh 1.

Updating privacy settings can strengthen your phone’s security, however, it is unlikely to protect you in this case.

How scary is the new scam campaign?

Mr. Adam Gordon – Lecturer at ITProTV – which provides professional IT training services, said that all phone scams are generally planned to accomplish two goals: Collecting The information can be used for identity theft, impersonating the victim and getting the victim to give money to the scammer.

In the new form of scam, a voiceover will be pre-recorded saying: “Can you hear me clearly?” to broadcast when the victim picks up the phone.

This question is staged to trick the victim into answering “Yes”. On the other end of the line, the crook will record your answer.

They will then use this recording to access important online accounts, make purchases, and commit fraud such as identity theft.

Nghe điện thoại từ số lạ mà thấy câu hỏi này, tuyệt đối đừng trả lời là "Có": Đó là 1 cuộc gọi lừa đảo! - Ảnh 1.

The new phishing campaign traps victims with a simple question. Image source: CPPR

All the crooks need to do is play a recording of your “Yes” answer when asked for permission to log into your account or agree to a large purchase.

“This phone scam is particularly scary because it relies solely on human behavior when answering a quick question,” said Matthew Shirley, director of cybersecurity operations at Fortalice.

By getting straight to the point with a simple question, crooks catch their victims off guard and force them to react quickly before they have time to think clearly. Many scam campaigns on Uber and Facebook Marketplace also rely on this, so it’s important that people stay alert.

The dangers of chatbots and AI

The new phone scam has shown the hidden potential of chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI) tools in mimicking human voices, Gordon said.

Today, AI chatbots are so advanced that they give off a “human feel”, which can successfully impersonate a human in many cases, making it difficult to distinguish in situations like phone calls.

Unfortunately, scammers have taken advantage of new technology to trick victims into believing they are talking to a real person over the phone. They even created a new version, which added a statement that sounded authentic, before asking a question. The specifics are as follows: “Sorry, I’m having problems with my headphones. Can you hear me clearly?”

Nghe điện thoại từ số lạ mà thấy câu hỏi này, tuyệt đối đừng trả lời là "Có": Đó là 1 cuộc gọi lừa đảo! - Ảnh 2.

Be very careful while receiving calls from strangers. Image source: wmdt

This tactic makes the victim believe that there is a human being “in the flesh” talking to him on the other end of the line.

Even, according to Mr. Shirley, the trick is so sophisticated that the crook creates very little space for the victim to have time to interpret the tempo of the sentence. For example, odd lags, breaks (if any) often make victims feel that they are dealing with a phone scam.

What can your “Yes” answer unlock?

By recording a victim’s confirmation, scammers can access sensitive information, authorize payments, or sign up for services the victim doesn’t want.

“If the crook is asked to say yes to this purchase or service, he can simply play a recording of your voice and say ‘Yes!'” – Mr. Gordon said.

That’s why it’s so important to protect online accounts with strong passwords and use two-factor authentication.

What to do to ensure safety?

Nghe điện thoại từ số lạ mà thấy câu hỏi này, tuyệt đối đừng trả lời là "Có": Đó là 1 cuộc gọi lừa đảo! - Ảnh 3.

Do not rush to answer the question of the other end of the line. Image source: Loss Prevention

To avoid falling victim to a new scam, experts recommend that you don’t answer calls from unknown numbers or hang up quickly if you’ve picked up the phone. Answering the phone will confirm that your phone number is working, giving the crooks a basis to make more automated calls.

Also, use caution when talking to any callers. Under no circumstances should you be in a hurry to answer a question on the other end of the line or provide any requested information, Mr. Shirley said.

If you answered “Yes” by mistake, you need to check your online account and important information to act as soon as necessary. For example, when detecting a strange transaction, it is necessary to immediately notify the payment processing company (credit card issuer, bank, money transfer application company) to report what happened.

You should also change passwords for sensitive accounts and monitor your credit statements for unusual activity.

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Source : Genk