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You are almost sure to have about “phishing.” It’s the name given to a specific type of fraudulent activity that is perpetrated online. You may not, however, have heard of “vishing.”
You might even have been on the wrong end of a vishing scam. It is possible you have already been cheated out of money or you might be aware that someone was trying to scam you without knowing the name of the fraud.
So, what is Vishing? Well, it is almost the same thing as “phishing.” The difference is that while phishing takes place online (usually via email), vishing happens over the phone. It doesn’t matter whether the phone is a conventional landline on the standard landline network, or a mobile phone. If either of these is the medium over which the fraud is carried out, it is called vishing.
The actual term “vishing” is derived from two words. The first word is “voice,” and the second word is “phishing.”
How Vishing Fraud Is Carried Out
A typical vishing scam is one whereby someone phones you up pretending to be from your bank, your building society, or perhaps a government agency. Whoever they pretend to be, their objective is the same. They will fish for information from you so that they can then pretend to be you and try to commit fraud in your name.
The sort of information that the phone fraudsters are after are things like credit card PINs, passwords, and/or card reader codes. Once they have any one of these, they can then gain access to your various accounts pretending to be you, and steal your money.
There are a lot of criminals attempting this type of fraud. Some may seem to know quite a bit about you and may sound very convincing. Others may not be quite so sophisticated, but they will at least have your name and maybe your address, hoping it is enough to disarm you.
When one of these “vishing” criminals gets you on the phone, they will want to get your personal, financial details as fast as they can. No criminal wants to spend too much time trying to carry out their crime.
Sometimes they may resort to trying to frighten or panic you so that you will give away the information they’re looking for before you have time to think it through.
A Typical Vishing Ruse
A typical ruse that vishing fraudsters employ is to tell you that they are from your bank phoning to advise you that someone is trying to steal your savings. They inform you they can prevent the alleged theft once you confirm who you are by giving them specific details. If you do, of course, you’ve cooked your own goose. The alleged theft will become real.
These reprehensible people target the vulnerable. Elderly people who might have significant savings are high on their list. Research undertaken by the Financial Ombudsman in the UK confirms that many people of 75 years of age and more have fallen foul of this type of obnoxious crime.
It’s worth making a point of telling any older relatives you might have about this type of fraud. You could be securing their life savings.
How To Spot Fraud And Help To Stop It
The best way to help any friends and relatives that might fall prey to vishing is to find out more about it yourself. You’ll find plenty of help and advice online about detecting scams of all kinds. Discovering a scam for what it really is, is one thing. But if you take the right kind of action, you can help to track down any fraudsters and have them closed down and maybe arrested.
Contact the appropriate authorities. By doing that you will be helping to prevent others from being exposed to this sort of horrible activity.
Stay safe out there on the Wild Wild Web!