They apologize to soften you up so you exchange the information they are looking for.
What people need to realize is that just because they are asked a question, that does not mean they have to answer.
When I am asked a personal question that I do not want to answer, I answer it with some type of outrageous response. Like, if someone asks me how much I paid for something, I say "I think it was over $8.00 but under $1,000.00; I will have to search my records." If someone asks if I own my home or are renting, I invite them to feel free to go to the town hall and look at the land records. If someone asks about my sex life, I state that my sex life is not just my own, it is also shared by my spouse, so we would have to get together with him and have the question asked with us both present.
You know, answer the question but do not give out any information. Easy and very entertaining.