When your phone rings, it’s sometimes hard to know who’ll be on the other end. It might be someone vishing.
Vishing, a combination of ‘voice’ and ‘phishing,’ is a phone scam designed to get you to share personal information. In 2018, phishing crimes cost victims $48 million, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Here’s what to know about vishing attacks and how to help protect yourself.
During a vishing phone call, a scammer uses social engineering to get you to share personal information and financial details, such as account numbers and passwords. The scammer might say your account has been compromised, claim to represent your bank or law enforcement, or offer to help you install software. Warning: It’s probably malware.
Vishing is just one form of phishing, which is any type of message — such as an email, text, phone call or direct-chat message — that appears to be from a trusted source, but isn’t. The goal is to steal someone’s identity or money.
It’s getting easier to contact more people, too. Scammers can place hundreds of calls at a time using voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology and can spoof the caller ID to make the call appear to come from a trusted source, such as your bank.
About three-quarters of the fraud complaints reported to the Federal Trade Commission involve contact with consumers by telephone. Here are some of the common themes:
Whether it’s a person or a prerecorded message on the other end, you’ll be told there’s an issue with your account or a payment you made. You may be asked for your login credentials to fix the problem or asked to make a new payment. Instead of giving out your info, hang up and call your financial institution on their publicly available number.
Scammers will call with offers that are too good to be true. They’ll say, for example, that you can earn millions of dollars on one small investment, pay off all your debt with one quick fix, or get all your student loans forgiven in one fell swoop. Typically, you must “act now” and will need to pay a small fee. Don’t fall for it. Legitimate lenders and investors won’t make these types of offers and won’t initiate contact out of the blue.
Phone calls are the No. 1 method scammers use to reach older adults, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Crooks pose as Medicare reps — often during Medicare open enrollment season — and try to glean financial information from the victim, such as their Medicare number or bank account details. Then the scammer will either fraudulently use the victim’s Medicare benefits or steal their money. Scammers may also claim to be from the Social Security Administration and threaten to suspend or cancel the victim’s Social Security number.
There are many variations of this type of scam, but typically, you’ll receive a prerecorded message. It tells you something’s wrong with your tax return and if you don’t call back, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. Scammers usually pair this with a spoofed caller ID made to look like the call is coming from the IRS. Before you proceed, it pays to understand what the IRS can and can’t do when they need to contact you.
Here are some of the tell-tale signs of a vishing scam:
Aside from knowing how vishing works and looking for red flags, you can also:
If you’ve provided your financial information to someone who you later think is a scammer, first call your financial institution. Whether it’s your credit card issuer, bank, or Medicare contact, call and ask about canceling fraudulent transactions and blocking future charges.
You might also need to change your account numbers to make sure no one uses your existing accounts.
Freezing your credit reports can help ensure no one can open new accounts in your name. Then file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
While vishing attacks are crafted to trick you, it’s possible to learn the red flags before you pick up the phone. Stay ahead of the cyberthieves who are trying to tap your personal details over the phone.
Article Source: norton.com
In the digital era, securing your finances against online fraud is paramount. Before making any financial transactions on a website or platform, it's important to verify its credibility and legitimacy. To begin, you can check if the website you're considering appears on our public database of known scam sites by clicking "View Scam Sites" below. This database is regularly updated and maintained by our team. Alternatively, you can click "Submit a Request" below to complete a form and request an evaluation from our team of experts. We will conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine if the website is legitimate, checking for any scams, fraud, or illegal activities. Don't take any unnecessary risks with your finances - take action today and submit a request or view our list of scam sites.
Join our whitelist!
Palette Party collection
To join the whitelist, start by following us on our social networks. Then, simply fill out the relevant form in our #join-the-whitelist Discord channel, and we will review your eligibility for whitelist access.