Vishing – How Not to Be a Victim of It
By Christine Margret 4 minutes
Vishing is a cybercriminal’s attempt to manipulate users into handing over their personal information, e.g., online banking passwords or credit card numbers.
Vishing leverages the caller ID technology and pretends to be a trusted organization, then persistently targets high-value individuals who hold highly-sensitive data.
It’s no wrong to say that vishing is identical to phishing, with callers impersonating as part of a trusted bank or a financial institute.
In vishing attacks, the fake caller sends the victim a voice email or message with a specific number and tells that suspicious activity has been noticed in his bank or credit card account, and now, he has to call back to verify his identity.
These attacks are quite sophisticated and clever enough that common users cannot easily identify it. The attackers use caller ID spoofing that makes calls appear to be coming from a legitimate and official source.
How Vishing Works – Examples of Vishing attacks
To help you better comprehend how calling scams take place, here are a few examples.
Targets bank or credit card account
When a vishing attack targets your bank or credit card account, you will receive a call saying,“Your account has been compromised. Please call this number to reset your password”.
Fraudster typically provides a phone number for the victim to call, where an automated voice response instructs you to provide credit card information and other essential financial details.
Sends unauthorized prize notification
In this type of vishing attack, prize scams are used as a way of getting financial details. Scammer notifies a victim that he’s won a free prize and can redeem it by paying shipping and handling charges. The scammer asks credit card numbers over the call and ensures that the prize will be delivered once shipping charges have been paid.
Types of vishing attacks
Over the past years, such attacks have witnessed a huge increase, and scammers are continually employing new tricks to make users fall victim to scams. One of the most popular tactics is bank fraud vishing in which scammers pretend to be a part of your trusted bank.
The other types of vishing include uninvited loan and credit card offers, overly emphasized investment opportunities, urgent charity requests, and extended warranty scams for car and other appliances.
What is the difference between phishing and vishing
Both phishing and vishing intend to obtain a user’s sensitive information. In a phishing attack, the scammer uses false emails to trap and redirect the user to a malicious source. However, Vishing techniques are quite different.
In a vishing attack, the fraudsters obtain the user’s private information via a fake call that pretends to be an official source to acquire a user’s bank or credit card details.
How to Identify It
There are some definite signs to identify vishing. Always remember that banks or any reputable organization never asks your private information like credit or personal account numbers.
Also, if anyone is creating a sense of urgency over the call, then you have to take the matter under consideration as it could be a big sign that it’s a scam.
How to Prevent It
To prevent it, you have to be careful while receiving a call from any entity claiming to be your bank or a reputable company. If you get a call from any organization asking you to share your personal information, then don’t panic and never share your information.
First, call the official number of the bank or any company to verify the matter. Bear in mind that you’re supposed to call on the official number. Don’tcall the number the scammer has dropped you.
Vishing attacks do not seem to be going anywhere, but a little vigilance will help you get out of such scams. Try not to receive calls from illegitimate numbers, even if you’re getting calls from official numbers asking private information, then verify things without calling back on the same or any provided number.