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Why you shouldn't answer the phone with 'sí' in Spain anymore

The Local Spain
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Why you shouldn't answer the phone with 'sí' in Spain anymore
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'Sí' (Yes) is the most common way to answer the phone in Spain. Unfortunately, anyone answering a call from an unknown number with this word now risks being the victim of a scam, Spanish police have warned.

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Spain's Guardia Civil has issued a recent warning asking people not to say on the phone, particularly if you don’t know who you’re speaking to yet and have only just answered.

Cyber scams are becoming increasingly common and this is the latest in the long list of ways that people are falling victim to fraud. Scams can be via text message, e-mail and over the phone too.

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Self-employed workers are usually the most affected by this scam, but it is not just them who should be vigilant, since it is very easy for anyone who receives a phone call to fall victim.

Basically, the cyber criminals are trying to steal your data and your identity and they do this in part by recording your voice.

If you don’t answer the phone with ‘sí the scammer may then move on to other questions in order to elicit a ‘yes’ response from you.

Telephone AI bots used by traditional companies often ask you to answer yes or no to certain questions when you’re trying to get through to someone or confirm a piece of information. If the cybercriminals have a recording of your voice, they can contact these companies, pretending to be you.

"They could record your voice to authorize transactions, contracts or fake your identity," warns the Civil Guard. Saying 'yes' can become "a gateway to a series of problems."

Likewise, voice recordings can also be manipulated and used as evidence in situations that could put your reputation at risk.

The Internet User Safety Office advises answering calls with a '¿Diga?'. This translates as 'say' or 'speak' and is another very common way to answer the phone in Spain.  

The safety office also advises people to distrust unknown phone calls until you know who is calling you and if you suspect that something is slightly fishy, you should hang up immediately.

Keep in mind as well that Spain banned cold calling without prior authorisation on June 29th with stiff penalties for businesses, illicit or otherwise, who continue to make unsolicited calls to people in Spain. 

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