What is vishing?
Webopedia defines Vishing as the telephone equivalent of phishing, where the scammer uses the telephone to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The scammer usually pretends to be a legitimate business, and fools the victim into thinking he or she will profit.
Here's a typical scenario.
An unsuspecting individual receives a phone call from a person or an automated message that leads them to a live person. They answer the call that appears to be from a familiar toll-free number associated with the person's bank or credit union. The scammer tells the customer that fraudulent activity has been detected on his or her account and asks the customer to confirm account details. Once the unsuspecting customer provides the information, the thieves are off to the races.
In addition to suspicious activity on your account, other scenarios to watch for include: overdue or unpaid taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), prize or contest winnings, fake computer tech support calling to remotely access your PC to fix a problem, fake government agency such as a court or law enforcement agency.
A growing problem
First Orion, a leading provider of phone call and data transparency solutions, predicts that nearly half of all calls to mobile phones will be fraudulent in 2019. First Orion data shows a drastic increase in mobile scam calls—from 3.7% of total calls in 2017 to 29.2% in 2018.
Tips to Prevent Vishing
- Be aware of current scams by checking FTC Scam Alerts
- Never answer a call from an unknown number
- Use a caller ID app
- Do not rely on call line identification (CID) alone to authenticate a caller. With voice over IP phone technology, caller ID spoofing is easy to do.
- Just do not answer if the caller’s number is not in your phone book.
- Let the caller leave a voicemail
- If you do answer, never give personal information over the phone. Ask them to identify who they work for, where they can be reached (telephone and email).
- Register your number with the National Do Not Call Registry.
- Report vishing calls to ftc.gov or 888-382-1222. The FTC wants the number and name that appeared on the caller ID as well as the time of day and the information talked about or heard in a recorded message. If you think you've been a victim of a vishing attack you can also contact, the Internet Crime Complaint Center.