Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Phone scammers are the worst.
Actually, they're on a par with email scammers.
They're heartless beings who just want to strip you of money, regardless of who you are.
The latest phone scam is something to behold.
You get a call from an unknown number. The caller asks: "Can you hear me?"
Whatever you do, don't say: "Yes."
In fact, don't say anything.
The Federal Communications Commission is warning that if you do say "yes," then the caller records it. And voilà, they now have your voice signature.
They can use it to pretend to be you and say yes to many things, such as bank transfers and authorizing credit card payments.
All without your knowledge.
The FCC advises that you should never answer calls from unknown numbers. What's the point? Let it go to voicemail and then decide if it's worth reacting. It probably isn't.
"If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up," says the FCC. "Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents."
See if your phone provider allows you to block robocalls. If you get one of these calls, write down the number and file a complaint with the FCC and tell the Better Business Bureau.
The problem, of course, is that these scammers use so many numbers and often stay one step ahead of authorities.
Just as with unknown emailers, nothing good ever comes from unknown callers.
They'll never offer you a good deal. They'll never send you an inheritance for safe keeping, with your incentive being a few percent off the top.
They'll never give you winnings, because you haven't won anything. You didn't even enter, remember?
These people simply want to find new ways of getting your money fraudulently.
Technology encourages us to react quickly. That's what these scammers are counting on.
Of course, they bank on you answering a question like "Can you hear me?" because you've seen more than your fair share of old Verizon ads.
Don't tell them where to get off. Just get off the phone.
I endured a robocall last week. It turned out to be a Texas congressman who--for some reason--was desperate to tell me about his, um, positions.
I let it go to voicemail. I didn't call him back. He only wants my money, surely.