E-crime month: Vishing


The development in telecommunications allow people to connect with one another in newer and increasingly cheaper ways. Unfortunately, they can also provide scammers and conmen to do the same. This is the case with vishing.

Most of the vishing attacks have been from individuals or crime rings who are stealing credit card numbers or other personal information in identity theft. But telemarketers are also using the technique to get people to buy bogus products.

Some sophisticated attacks combine vishing and phishing. These scams typically start with a phishing email that says there has been a problem with an online account from a known website, such as a bank, credit card company, or online retailer, and it directs users to call a number and enter information to verify their account.

Follow these tips to stay safe:

  • You should always be wary of an unknown caller asking for your private banking or personal information over the phone.
  • Don’t trust caller ID, which can be tampered with and offers a false sense of security.
  • If you receive an email directing you to call a specified telephone number, ignore it and contact the financial institution directly with a number you know is valid, such as the one from your account statement or telephone book.
  • Educating others can be very helpful. Let your friends and neighbours know what you have learned about vishing and other security related matters and caution them to be on guard for these types of attacks.

If you’ve become a victim of a vishing attack you should:

  • Contact your local police and file a police report.
  • Contact the financial institutions, credit card companies, phone companies and any accounts you suspect may have been opened or tampered with.
  • Get a full credit report to see if there are any new accounts, loans or credit cards on your name.

Remote banking fraud by criminals using online computer viruses and telephone ‘vishing’, in which victims are persuaded to disclose security details, soared 59% in the first half of 2014 to cost UK banks, businesses and individuals £35.9 million. [Fraud Intelligence]



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