Would you like to go fishing? That sounds nice, doesn’t it. But, have you heard about phishing? That is when criminals try to fool you by making you install applications, click on links, and thus, help them steal confidential information about you. But, what is vishing? It is the same as phishing, but here the criminals use the phone to steal your data.
Vishing is a combination of voice and phishing, therefore, vishing.
During a phishing attack, you might receive an email from your bank telling you that your account is about to be freezed. To avoid this, you need to visit the website of the bank, write down your details, and they will fix the problem. But, this is when the problem really begins.
If you click the link, you will most likely be taken to a fake website looking exactly like the website of your bank. Everything looks okay, but if you enter your data, it will go straight into the hands of cyber criminals who might use your data themselves, or sell it to others on the dark web. Sometimes they can trick you into installing applications and/or browser extensions which again will spy on your activities, record your keyboard usage, and much more. This is a very basic introduction to phishing.
But, what is vishing?
During a vishing attempt, you will receive a call from someone claiming to be a person you should trust. It might be from your bank, from your insurance company, or from someone offering you a super deal on something. They will often know something about, information they have gathered from social media sites, or maybe even from data leaked about you through data breaches and more. The fact that they know something about you will increase your trust in the person, so when they ask you to confirm your social security number, bank account details, or other confidential information, many people decide to share it with the caller. This is vishing!
As a result, vishing is about getting hold of your private information through a phone call, by claiming to be someone they are not. This might be more common in the United States than elsewhere, but knowing about this is very useful in order to remain safe.
How to protect yourself from vishing?
It can sound very convincing when someone call you who claim to be from your bank and who already know a lot about you. But, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.
- Don’t trust those who call you. If it sounds too good to be true what they are offering, then it is too good to be true. Hang up!
- If you want to know more, hang up, check out the website of your bank or whoever is supposed to call you, and call them back using their OFFICIAL phone number. Don’t trust any number the caller might give you.
- Give all sorts of wrong information. If it is your bank or someone who really knows you, they will see the errors at once. If it is a fake call, they will have no clue and accept any information you give out. However, I would personally be careful with this solution!
- If it is very urgent, then it is even more likely a scam! People will often trick you into doing stupid decisions by offering you fantastic deals that will be gone in 5 minutes. If someone calls you with such an offer, it is for sure a scam! Hang up!
- No official institution will ever ask for your social security number, bank account numbers, passwords, and other confidential information on the phone. If they do, it is a scam! Hang up!
If someone calls you from an unknown number, you can also consider simply not answering the phone. But be aware, sometimes criminals can manipulate the caller number, making it look like the call has been made from a secure source. But, even though it seems to be your bank giving you a call, never hand out confidential information. No matter what, hang up, and rather call the bank back using the contact information found in your contract or elsewhere!
Take care of yourself and your private information. If you have been a victim of vishing, make sure to contact the local authorities, your bank, and whoever can help you recover from the injuries that have been made.