Just knowing that the notion of a simple three letter word could wreak havoc in my life is scary beyond anything imaginable. I am speaking of a simple “Yes”. Getting a call from an unsolicited number has me screening my calls more than ever before. My thought now is, if it is that important the caller can leave me a VM and I will happily return their call. If I do happen to pick up the phone by nature and the caller does identify me by name from a legitimate company, such a job recruiter, what then? Do I confirm my identity or do I blow off the call and seem like a jerk? I think that is difficult to answer. I did happen to blow off the last recruiter that called me. I was not expecting a phone call since I am not in the job market.
I am now, and still, politely declining to give my phone number or email address during the checkout process at all retailers. I always did, and now more than ever, seeing that this once oblivious pieces of information are just as sensitive as my other PII, such as my address, date of birth, and SSN.
When a scammer places an unsolicited call, they are more than likely recording the call. If the scammer can get the person on the other side to confirm their identity, they pretty much can act on your behalf and steal your identity. Your recorded voice combined with public information such as your address and date of birth will let the scammer apply for credit and you will probably never know unless you regular check your credit history or have active credit monitoring.
I would actually prefer to get an email or social media message beforehand to let me know that someone is going to call me or that I can call them. This still does not ease the feeling that someone could be recording the phone call without my knowledge. It is a time that we must stay vigilant, and educate ourselves and others around us. Just as a bank would never send you an email to confirm information, we should have the same mindset and think that they would also never call unless there is some sort of disclaimer, such as the call be being recorded and monitored for a potential fraud alert.