Vishing is a version of phishing that uses verbal scams. It uses various different types of messages to try to get the user to do things that they believe are in their best interests. Many consider it to be the next logical stage in scams. We’ll talk more specifically about it in a moment. However, we will take a closer look at these types of scams.
What is Vishing?
As we mentioned, many consider that Vishing picks up where phishing takes off. Have you ever recieved an unsolicited call from an “expert”? These callers may tell you that there is in an important “Microsoft update” that you need to download, they can lower your credit card interest rates, or more. Victims often do not realize that these “helpful people” are gaining access to the customer’s full name credit card numbers, and more so they can make fraudulent charges for computer repairs and other charges. These criminals may pose as bankers, police, technicians, or even as you.
If you recieve a call that sounds urgent, you can easily verify the person is who they say they are with a simple phone call. They should be able to provide you with the means to verify their identity. If they are not willing to do so, they can not be trusted. However, be careful of that as well. The person you call on the number they give you could be fraudulent as well. Try using a different phone and a publically acknowledged phone number.
How do I Recognize Vishing?
Sometimes, recognizing vishing is not as easy as you may think. Many that would not generally give out important details can be fooled into doing so. There are several things you can take a look at that might give you a little bit of an edge on these types of crooks. Here are some things to look for.
- Frantic calls are common with Vishers. They might tell you that there is a problem with your computer or perhaps some computer software that you use. They may get you try to click on a website or download other software. Generally, they will offer you simple solutions, providing you give them your credit card info.
- If something sounds too good to be true, it is. No one is going to call you and offer to get your credit card interest rates lowered across all of your cards. While that may sound like a good idea, it will not happen. Beware if you get a call like this.
What if I Fall Victim to Vishing?
If you become a victim of one of these scams, there are a few things you can do.
- If it is a computer scam, you will want to change the passwords on all of your bank accounts as well as notify your financial transactions closely.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission online or by phone at (888) 382-1222. You will also want to contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. They are the ones that handle Vishing scams.
Being scammed is never fun, but as the criminals become more crafty, it is important to keep a wary eye on any unsolicited calls. They may promise you things or want to fix urgent issues that you allegedly have. Just be sure to stay vigilent and treat every unsolicited call with a heavy dose of skepticism. That will help you not fall victim to these scams.