This scam really makes me mad—especially for some of the most vulnerable in our society, including the elderly.

This scam starts when your phone rings and the person on the other end says “Can you hear me?” Being the nice folks that we are, we say “Yes!” Only when you say “Yes,” they are recording your voice and then using that voice recording to confirm authorizations to change accounts or place charges on one of your accounts. According to law enforcement, the calls are usually about vacation packages, cruises, warranties and other big ticket items. I got one last week saying the warranty on my car was expiring. When they asked “Can you hear me?” I asked “Who is this?” When they said “This is about the warranty on your car. It is expiring.” I said “I am on the do- not- call list and you are in violation of the TCPA.” They hung up without a “yes.”

Some say biometrics, such as voice recordings and fingerprints, are becoming state of the art in authentication instead of the traditional asking for your pet’s name and mother’s maiden name. Anyone can figure those pieces of information out. But as authentication methods change, the criminals who are trying to commit fraud are figuring out how to get around it, like with this scam. Now they have a recording of your voice saying “Yes!” that they can use at will.

Not everyone is as paranoid as I am about data privacy and security. But the ones I am most concerned about are seniors who are home during the day getting these calls and saying “yes” when the person on the other phone ask if they can hear them. Those are the ones I am most concerned about.

Please educate your friends and family about this scam.