Scammer question

I got an obvious scam call from the Public Utility Company. They asked for a name, credit card number, etc., so I made up some stuff. Then, he asked multiple times, “Please repeat after me…‘I got a call from customer care’” or something to that effect.

I said, why do you need me to say that? And so on, and he tried again, several times to get me to say those specific words.

Any idea what those magic words would have accomplished?

I would guess that it was not a person, but a bot. They can be programmed to listen for specific words and phrases. They could be using it as a compliance filter. Only those who are easy marks would then get an actual person.

They could also be set up to parse the name and credit card. (They can at least understand numbers.) Or it’s possible one or the other is just a prompt that waits for you to say anything and moves on. Either way, the real person would probably confirm your info.

Definitely not a bot. We were having a regular conversation, he was repeating stuff back, with different phrasing. I mean, maybe ChatGPT with an Indian accent? Anyway, I know what the scam bots sound like.

To record you saying something they can later edit into you saying something you didn’t say.

There used to be (maybe still is for all I know) a scammy phone service that would call businesses and ask whoever answered a question with an obvious “yes” answer. They would then edit that into a recording of the person agreeing to switch something with the phone service. I got stung with that once long ago.

That has to be it, I guess. I’ve spoken to tons of scammers and this is the first time they asked me to say a specific line.

Me: What happens if I say the magic words?
Scammer: The magic words?
Me: The magic words you want me to say
Scammer: The magic word is love. This is just a sentence I want you to say.

No kidding, that was part of our extended conversation.

Last I heard, existence of the “say yes” scam remains in doubt.

Eh, I got burned with it. So it isn’t in doubt in my mind.

Might not be as prevalent these days though.

I wonder what would have happened if you had said

My voice is my passport. Verify me.

Any idea what they were after, beyond credit card info etc.? Was this an attempt for example, to sign you up with a different provider? I understand some places, the gas or electrical supply, like phone service, consists of multiple suppliers using the same “pipes” and you can switch who you are billed by. It may not be the company themselves, possible they pay another company to sign up new customers.

They just asked for credit card info so they could give me a refund. Very nice of them!

Someone I know thought maybe they would use it to verify my voice, to say “customer care” to the credit card automated line.

It’s an audition. “Call this rando and make him do something for no reason” and you get the scammer job.

Or are they using the “customer care” phrase to call the credit card company and reroute your alerts and authorizations to a different phone/email?

Yeah, could be that, too. Anyway, they would probably use the customer care part of the phrase to be up to no good.

HSBC actually use the phrase “my voice is my password”.

telephone sales would do a “voice recording” of the call, where they would attempt to establish a contract. Clearly having the customer say “yes” is too easily faked, so you need the customer to “repeat after me” a contract, wedding vow , swearing in, oath of allegiance style.

He was going to edit something together from the words you had said, but he needed pro-forma that yo you hadn’t already said. Like, ID , how call was established and when, that you know who you are talking to…

Maybe he was going to get a new credit card issued with your ID, even your voice,attached to the issuing of it.

A gov department here has “In Australia, my voice identifies me” as the words required for that.

Thanks! Well, so far, no credit alerts.

I’m interested in the details of how you got scammed. Because this still does not make sense to me why they need specifically YOU to say ‘yes.’ Its easier just to record some random person in their office to say ‘yes’ and claim it was you.

How did you get scammed? How did they claim you agreed, did they ever provide ‘proof’ that you said yes?

Years ago I got a similar call,(called Slamming: Slamming: Switching Your Authorized Telephone Company Without Permission | Federal Communications Commission) where someone just said: “Hello, this is Tammy from Sprint, We’ve been authorized to service your phone account with Sprint, so we are going to change your phone service over to Sprint now, is that ok?”

Then a simple acquiescence on my part would have constituted verbal agreement. But that wasn’t a scam, it was just scummy. ALso they weren’t using the recorded ‘yes’ to authorize other purchases that I hadn’t agreed to.

Is this what happened to you?

Just saw an item on the news about the latest scam- using AI to synthesize a person’s voce. It was suggested this would be used in scams like the “grandson in Mexican jail” scam where gullible grandparents are told their grandson is in Mexican jail and a bribe is needed. Using AI synthesis to make a recognizable facsimile of the person’s voice adds a whole new dimension. (Plus deepfake video if it’s a Zoom or Facetime call).

Presumably they need a decent amount of source material to synthesize a voice, the audio equivalent of “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

The conversation went, as closely as I can remember;
Scammer, “This is Blank from XYZ Long Distance Telephone Services, is this the Authorized Person to make decisions about your companies phone service?”
Distracted Shop Manager Me, “Yes, how can I help you?”
Scammer, “Fake Sales Pitch!”
Me, “Not interested, do not call again, good bye.” Hang up phone get back to work.
Imagine my surprise when I got an extra (and extra large) long distance phone bill the next month from this company instead of the normal telco phone bill I was expecting. They played a recording of me saying yes to three different questions authorizing the switch when the only yes I said was the one acknowledging that I was the one in charge.

Wow! How did you get it fixed? I assume you called them up and bitched and they said, 'look, we have your approval on recording here." then they played it?

Couple of things…how did you get that problem solved? Was it obvious to you that your ‘yes’ answer was actually your voice and it was the same recording? and you should contact Snopes to let them know of your experience. They claim there is no ‘real’ incidents of this happening.

ALso, odd, that my experience was also with a phone company wanting to change my long distance carrier (slamming), mine happened around 1995-96 or so. was that the same for you?