Have you received a phone call asking you to share your bank details? Welcome to the world of vishing! Find out here how you can avoid such attacks. We have all received those regulatory government messages at some point; the ones that tell us not to share our personal details over the phone.
Why does such a threat exist? It is due to vishing or ‘voice phishing’. Vishing is a scam via which someone can get you to share personal information on a phone call. It is the telephonic variant of phishing. Let us find out why this can be dangerous in the hacker-friendly universe.
What is Vishing?
According to Bill Murphy’s 2018 statistics, nearly 30% of all incoming calls were scams. 75% of these scam victims also revealed that such vishers already had some personal information about them beforehand.
What threat can sharing such information through the phone cause you? Scammers can cleverly socialize with you to get you to share your personal and financial information like OTPs, passwords, account numbers, social security numbers, etc. You would be aware of email phishing attacks. A visher does the same thing over the phone.
An attacker can make their phone number appear legitimate by ID spoofing; a technique that manipulates caller IDs to appear authentic. This is way more viable than email phishing since many such calls can be made simultaneously using VoIP. There are multiple ways they could get you to succumb to their pretentions.
They would pretend to be a representative from your bank or the government. A master at his game can easily gain your trust over the phone. With the information you have innocently shared with them, attackers can carry out crimes like identity theft and robberies.
How to Prevent Vishing?
Technology has surely made lives easy for us. Alongside such boons are the huge pitfalls that one could fall into. One of such potential risks is vishing. Therefore, it is important to be able to avoid such scams. Here are ways in which you can prevent visher threats by recognizing them.
- The caller usually claims to represent some governmental, medical or bank organization. If your bank or other governmental agencies have never connected to you via a phone call, this is your first red flag.
- More often than not, banks send out messages asking customers to refrain from sharing bank account information or OTPs to strange callers who claim to represent their organization. If you feel doubtful about the caller, ring up the organization they are claiming to represent to be sure.
- The caller tries hard to dig up more information from you. If the caller is a representative of your bank or government and they tend to seek your personal data, do not abide to it. No governmental organizations would ask your financial and security information via a call.
- Look out for ID spoofing. The Voice over IP technology can convince you that the caller is from a trusted organization. If any such representatives are asking for your information, do not share anything with them.
- Once you feel you have been attacked by a visher, report it to authorities. You may either contact the organization they claimed to represent, or go to the police/cybercrime department.
- Be cautious over the phone. Especially if official calls are made to you, refrain from seeming too vulnerable. These attackers would be smart talkers. Do not fall prey to them.
- Ask them questions. They are bound to break at some point. These fraudsters would not be able to provide the most authentic information about the organization they pretend to represent. This can be used against them to check their legitimacy.
Keep an ear out for urgent phone calls that seem in dire need of your personal information. They may tend to make you believe that you are in some sort of trouble. If this seems strange, trust your gut. Many vishers also pretend to be insurance agents and telemarketers.
In this world of immense possibilities, it is also plausible to be deceived rather easily. Therefore, it is up to us to stay safe. Be cautious of such fraud calls and keep your information personal.