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I answered the phone to a very convincing voice that was breaking up, and the person asked "can you hear me"? Only after I said "yes" did I realize that it was either a very lifelike robot or a very robotic person. For this reason, I fear I'm in danger of falling victim to fraud from a "can you hear me?" attempt phishing for a fabricated "consent" of some charges; I did not give any other personal information to the "person" during the call.

I've unfortunately now said "yes", so what do I do to protect myself? I don't have many lines of credit/accounts open, so I'm not sure what angles of attack someone could possibly have against me, unlike the strategies in the URL linked above.

  • Was there any exchange of information? – quid Mar 27 '18 at 15:52
  • Other than the "yes", I gave out no information at all. – errantlinguist Mar 27 '18 at 15:56
  • Did you read the article you referenced? It tells you what to do if you think you have been targetted. – DJClayworth Mar 27 '18 at 15:56
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    Does a recording of a person saying "yes" hold up in court? That seems pretty insane to me. People have known how to splice audio for at least 70 years. And of course "yes" could be the answer to anything from "do you authorize this charge?" to "is this Bob Smith?" Maybe rapists should get recordings of their victim saying yes to some trivial question, and then in court say, "Listen, I have her on tape saying 'yes'!" – Jay Mar 27 '18 at 20:22
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This is not something to worry about, in my opinion.

You should always be checking your monthly bank statements, credit card statements, phone bills for charges that you didn’t authorize. If you see any, dispute them.

The idea that a fraudster would win in a dispute because they have a recording of someone saying the word “yes” seems silly to me, especially if it is known that fraudsters have attempted tricks like this in the past.

Be on the lookout for false charges, but don’t worry needlessly that someone may have a recording of your voice.


Pure speculation:

I think the whole story that anyone ever tried to use a recording of a word like this is a hoax. Robocalling companies are continually trying to improve their systems to make them seem more lifelike in an attempt to get you to remain on the line as long as possible, and I think that a “Can you hear me okay?” question is an attempt to do that. I’m guessing that a writer received one of these calls, imagined what someone might do with a recording of the response, wrote an article about it, and it took off from there. False charges happen all the time, but I just can’t see a recording of a word like this standing as proof of authorization.

  • I was just about to say the exact same thing. If you're worried about this sort of thing, then change the sound of your voice when you answer the phone. :) – TTT Mar 27 '18 at 16:17
  • In addition, with smartphones being ubiquitous these days, you could make your own recording of the call. If a call recording is accepted by the court (which, by itself, sounds pretty dubious), you could always setup a "My Recording Fu is Better Than Yours" argument, which (with a competent lawyer) can easily convince the courts to throw out the tampered recording. – Masked Man Mar 28 '18 at 17:07
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Your linked article mentions contacting the FCC.

A coupla years ago I had an issue with AT&T when I switched over from DSL to fiber optic. The brochure promised free installation, a $100 gift card and a price of something like $60 a month. The first bill comes and approx $250, they sent a $50 gift card not $100, and they're billing me for 2 modems, not one as well as installation.

After a number of phone calls that got me nowhere, I called the FCC and spelled out my complaint. First time I ever resorted to a gubbermint agency and what a surprise! Within 2 hours someone from the vice president's office at AT&T is on the phone and actually resolved all of the problems. AT&T is probably similar to Bear Stearns was back in the day - everyone is a vice president of something :->) .

A year later I switched from regular cable to DirectTV and this sh*t happened again! Multiple calls to AT&T and no resolution so I called the FCC again. And again, they pulled out the cattle prod and AT&T cleaned up their mess.

My point? Surprisingly, the FCC has teeth and AT&T jumps when they call. The other thing that I realized as I wrote this is that I should probably stay away from AT&T !!! :->O

  • I'm glad you chose to give up on AT&T. Our company would never do such a thing. – not_a_comcast_employee Mar 28 '18 at 5:09

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