Voice phishing, or “vishing,” is a social engineering attack where criminals use the phone to try and trick victims into providing them with personal information or money. This form of cyberattack targets individuals and businesses.
It uses voice-based communication, such as phone calls or voice messages, to extract personal information, passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information.
Unfortunately, these scams have become increasingly prevalent in recent years. So, it’s essential to understand how to spot and avoid them.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the signs that indicate you may be a target of a vishing scam and the steps you can take to protect yourself.
1) The Caller Id Is Spoofed
One of the most common tactics used in voice phishing is caller ID spoofing. That is when scammers use Voice Over IP (VoIP) technology to make it look like they’re calling from a legitimate organization or government agency. They might even imitate the real caller ID of a trusted business.
To avoid getting scammed by this tactic, never give out your personal information over the phone to anyone claiming to be from an official institution. If you suspect you’re dealing with a voice phishing scam, hang up the phone immediately and contact the organization or company in question directly using a verified phone number or website.
2) They Have Some Personal Information About You
A common sign of a voice phishing scam is when the caller has personal information about you. It could be your full name, address, or other details that should not be in the hands of a stranger. If this is the case, be very wary and ask for more information about how they obtained it.
Don’t give away any more information, even if the caller insists on verifying something they already know. They are likely trying to get more personal details from you that can be used for identity theft or other fraudulent activity.
To avoid this situation, take steps to protect your personal information. Regularly review your credit report to ensure no new accounts have been opened in your name.
Be mindful of who you share personal information with, such as over the phone, by email, or in person. Be sure to read the privacy policies of any websites you use so that you understand how they use and store your data.
3) They’re Asking For Sensitive Information
You’re dealing with a voice phishing scam if you’re asked for your sensitive data. It could be your bank account numbers, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or passwords. Legitimate companies or organizations never ask for such sensitive information over the phone.
Ensure you are talking to a legitimate representative before divulging any personal data. Always take the time to confirm that the caller is who they say they are by researching their phone number on PhoneHistory and asking them to provide more details.
Overall, be vigilant when answering calls from unknown numbers. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s best to hang up and do your research before taking further action.
4) They’re Threatening You
Voice phishing scams are all about getting you to do something, often by threatening you with consequences if you don’t comply. It could be threats of legal action, arrest, or even physical harm.
These types of calls can be particularly frightening and intimidating, so it’s important to take a step back and recognize the signs of a scam. Remember that real authorities wouldn’t threaten you in such a way over the phone, so if you’re receiving these types of threats, it’s almost certainly a scam.
If you’re faced with this kind of situation, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t respond to the caller; just hang up.
- Don’t give out any personal or financial information.
- If the caller asks for money or payment, do not pay it; this is a sure sign of a scam.
- Do not engage the caller in any way; they may try to get more information from you by asking questions.
- Report the call to local law enforcement and contact your bank if your financial information may have been compromised.
- If you’re still worried about your safety, consider speaking to a friend or family member for advice.
5) They’re Offering Too Good Of A Deal
Voice phishers are known for offering too good of a deal to unsuspecting victims. They may promise you a large sum of money in return for a small amount of money upfront, or they may promise you an incredible discount on an item that would normally cost much more. It’s important to be aware of these tactics and to avoid falling for them.
If a caller offers you an amazing deal that sounds too good to be true, it’s best to hang up the phone and move on. Don’t give out any personal information or transfer any money.
It’s also important to remember that legitimate companies will never cold call you out of the blue and offer you a great deal. If you receive a call from someone offering you something for free or at a discounted rate, ask yourself why they are doing this and if it could be part of a scam.
6) The Call Sounds Recorded
Voice phishing scammers use various techniques to make their calls more authentic. Many times, they will use recordings that sound like a real person. Voice actors or automated voice systems usually do these recordings. You should be aware of any calls that sound recorded, as this is one of the main signs that the call is a scam.
If you suspect that the call you are receiving is a recording, ask the person on the other end if they are a real person. If they don’t answer or dodge your question, you can be sure that the call is a scam.
One more tip for avoiding this type of scam is to listen for pauses in the conversation. Scammers often use pre-recorded messages, which tend to have longer pauses between the words. If you notice long breaks in the conversation, it’s likely a recording, and you should hang up immediately.
Finally, be wary of any calls where the person on the other end seems to be reading from a script. A real person would not sound robotic or scripted. If the caller sounds like they’re following a script, chances are they are not a real person.
7) They Ask You To Verify Information Back To Them
Verifying information back to a caller is another common tactic in voice phishing. Scammers will often ask you to read a series of numbers back to them, usually starting with the last four digits of your social security number. This should be an immediate red flag that something is wrong, and you should hang up immediately.
To avoid dealing with this situation in the first place, make sure never to give out personal information such as your social security number or bank account numbers over the phone.
If you have already given out personal information, contact your financial institution immediately and report the scam.
When someone calls asking for verification numbers, always ask for their name and the company they are calling from. Legitimate companies will have no problem giving you their name and company name. If the caller refuses to provide this information, it’s time to hang up.
The Bottom Line
Voice phishing is an increasingly common type of scam with serious financial and personal implications.
Be aware of the signs of a voice phishing scam and take the necessary steps to protect yourself from being taken advantage of by a voice phisher. If you think you’ve been scammed, contact your local authorities immediately.
Nonetheless, the best way to avoid a voice phishing scam is to be vigilant and trust your instincts regarding who you’re talking to.