There’s a new scheme in town, and it is called “Vishing”. Vishing is a type of fraud that attempts to access private information via phone calls and voice messages. These have become more frequent as the quantity of robocalls continue to increase.
“Vishers” – the bad guys doing the vishing – often claim to need financial data to clear up an IRS matter, or needing birthdates or social security numbers to unfreeze bank accounts, or your address to restart a utility service. Vishers are sometimes just looking to make a copy of your voice, saying the word “Yes” or “I agree”.
Vishers often get information about you from social media, such as: Facebook, Linked-In, and/or Twitter to create a sense of trust or familiarity. Vishers also often use “neighborhood spoofing,” in which the calls are placed using local numbers to try and entice recipients to pick up. Similarly, scammers can spoof an existing number, tricking consumers into thinking a trusted business is calling them.
So, what can you do to protect yourself from Vishing?
- Beware of phone calls from unfamiliar numbers or unfamiliar names. Do not answer calls from an unfamiliar phone number. If you see one, let it go to voice mail. If the call is important, they will leave a voice mail message.
- Avoid starting a conversation with the caller. If you do find yourself on the line with the caller, avoid saying any positive words (“I agree”, “Yes”, “OK”, etc.), and do not press a key to “opt out” of future calls. Best solution is to hang up.
- Don’t say anything. Some questions, like, “Can you Hear Me?” or “Do you want to opt out of these calls?” generally require a Yes response.
- Report spammers to the National Do Not Call Registry. Once your number has been listed on the Registry for a month, you can start reporting unwanted calls to https://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx. Consider this one layer of a comprehensive defense against fishers, but it’s not a method for stopping 100% of the calls.
- Work with your trusted IT Provider to deploy further layers of protection. In today’s digital world, security problems never stop evolving.
Founded in 2003, ELIJAH is a multi-award-winning leader in providing expert digital forensic, data security solutions, and managed IT. ELIJAH is owned and managed by former litigation partners and is an efficient boutique digital forensic, cybersecurity and IT solutions provider that makes clients’ lives easier through effective communication and white glove service. For additional information, please visit https://www.elijaht.com or call 866-354-5240.