A voice phishing scam (“vishing”) is a phishinig attack by phone. The criminal will call the intended target and try to urge them to take an action to scam them out of money or access. The caller will make the request seem urgent and will impersonate a financial institution, the IRS or even a utility company. In some instances they may purport that a family member needs bail money.
Some ways to protect yourself from this type of attack:
- Check the caller ID to determine where the call is coming from. If it is a strange location for the purported caller or is a blocked number, it is a scam. However, scammers sometimes can spoof a number of a legitimate organization to appear to be real. In that case…
- Tell the caller you will call them back. If the call is coming from your bank, hang up and call your bank yourself. Tell them about the call and find out if it was real or not.
- Be aware of the caller indicating urgency. If the action must be taken now, on the phone, be suspicious. Scammers depend on creating a sense of urgency and play on the emotions of the target. Take a minute to think about what they are asking you to do.
- Do not provide any personal information to the caller. NEVER provide your social security number, date of birth, bank account information, credit card number, etc.
- Call the organization that has been impersonated and tell them of the scam. They will compile reports to see trends and alert their customers. Similarly, alert local law enforcement (call the non-emergency number) as well as notifying the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) (https://www.ic3.gov/).