"Vishing" or voice phishing is the criminal activity of using social engineering over the telephone system to gain access to private, personal and financial information from the public for the purpose of financial reward. Vishing is typically used to steal credit card numbers or other personal information used in identity theft schemes.
Some fraudsters utilize features facilitated by Voice-over IP features such as Caller ID spoofing (to display a number of their choosing on the recipient’s phone line) and automated systems to perpetrate these scams.
How can I protect myself?
- Be highly suspicious when receiving unsolicited calls or automated voice messages directing you to call and provide credit card numbers, financial account numbers or personal identifying information.
- Never provide your password, account number or card number/information until you have confirmed the authenticity of the source.
- When in doubt, calling a company's telephone number listed on billing statements or other official sources is recommended as opposed to calling numbers received from messages or callers.
- Never be intimidated by an e-mail or call that suggests some extreme consequence if you do not respond (your account will be frozen or your card will be blocked).
It is very important to remember that this advice refers to unsolicited calls or text messages. If you initiate the contact, you are in control. For instance, you have the ability to enter the website into your browser’s search function or verify the number you are calling by other means.