Before we begin, we know what you are thinking: “what is vishing?”. Let’s clarify. “Vishing” or “voice phishing” is the phone’s version of e-mail phishing attacks.
It’s those random, fraudulent calls you get that you ignore or quickly answer and hang up. The person at the other end usually tries to get your secure information and steal your money or identity.
There are many different ways a person can use vishing to steal your information, but here is an example:
A person can call and say that they come from your bank and that your account has been compromised. They can then ask for your account number, birthday and other personal information to try to steal your money.
Hopefully you are not on the phone with these callers or sharing any of this personal information as it can be quite risky to do so.
But what happens to vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, who do not know that these conversations are frauds? Or when the person at the other end sounds really convincing?
Here are some tips to protect yourself before, during and after a vishing attack:
- Before vishing even happens …
Before you ever get a whisper call, make sure you protect yourself with ID theft recovery services. Pekin Insurance offers this coverage through a partnership with cyberscout, and they have very good information on their site about what this coverage offers.
In addition, educate yourself and your vulnerable family members, like older individuals, about the dangers of vishing. Give them examples of what it might look like and teach them to simply hang up.
- During a vishing attack …
Okay, so you answered the phone with a mournful attack. Do not panic! Hang up quickly and do not reveal any personal information.
If you are unsure if it is a vishing attack, always be careful. If you have to question whether it̵7;s a scam call or not, it probably is.
If you are still worried that it may be a legitimate call, hang up and call the direct number of whatever device they pretend to be. For example, if they claim to be your bank, call your bank after logging in and confirm with them.
- After a visionary attack …
Pooh! The call is over and you’ve done. Now is the time to assess what just happened and decide what your best next steps are.
Ask yourself questions like …
Did I give them any personal information that they could steal? If so, who do I need to contact to help me repair the situation?
Also block the number they called from so that the same fraudster can not call again.
We know that vishing can be daunting, especially for vulnerable people who are unaware of this new wave of scammers. By following the simple steps above or encouraging your family members to, you will be better prepared and protected for the next vishing attack.