A warning is spreading across Facebook that claims scam artists are calling up victims, asking them to say “yes” over the phone which gives them automatic access to any online banking account associated with that phone.
An example of the warning can be seen below –
!!!!URGENT!!!! Please share this!!
Please do NOT answer any random numbers like this one that you don’t know… THEY HAVE CALLED ME 3 times and again this morning…these people are scam artists… the minute you answer your phone they ask if you can hear them… the minute you reply YES they hang up on you and automatically have access to your internet banking that is connected to your phone. I don’t know how but they do. I do worry about the eldely people of the community please warn them . THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!!!!! IF YOU RECEIVE ANY BLOCK THE NUMBERS IMMEDIATELY
We’ll explain this warning in more detail further down, but for those wanting a quick summary, here is what is true and what is false –
It is true that many people have reported strange calls from people who appear to try and illicit a “yes” response.
Despite these calls being placed, there is no evidence that they are directly links to victims being scammed out of money. The claim that saying yes automatically gives crooks access to your online banking account is completely false.
We’ve previously reported on strange calls where the caller would appear to try and illicit a yes response before since many incidents were reported to the BBB and many media outlets reported on the calls. However the BBB ceded that there were no instances are reported scams as a result of these strange calls, and many media reports appeared somewhat confused as to how these calls could potentially scam people out of money.
We will reiterate this point – saying yes over the phone doesn’t give crooks access to your online accounts. Anyone who has had to call up their bank or any other company) will know they have to confirm their identity and give out information only they should know, like a password or PIN. These safeguards cannot be bypassed by using a recording of your voice, since such companies do not use biometric technologies in this manner.
While someone may have indeed received a strange call and at a later date had a bank account compromised, it would not mean one was caused by the other. There is no way criminals can access your bank account just by calling you and getting you to say yes.
However we will say this – if you receive a suspicious call and you believe the caller is trying to get you to say yes, then just hang up. It is not outside the realms of possibility that a “yes” recording of your voice could potentially be used to try and scam you by convincing you that you agreed to something you didn’t by editing your response, though we’re not aware of any confirmed reports of such a scam happening.