Vishing: A New Type of Scam

Just when you thought there couldn’t be another way to get ripped off on the Web, along comes a new scam for stealing your personal information. This scam is called vishing and it combines an older type of scam with a new twist. Let’s see what we’ve got!

I’m sure by now you all have heard of phishing scams. They are the ones that send out spam e-mails, pretending to be a reputable company. They then fool people into visiting fake Web sites and giving out their personal data. Well, vishing takes that even one step further.

Since most people seem to be getting wise to phishing, they are less likely to fall for the spam e-mails and that means less success for the scammers. To counteract that, vishing no longer directs people to Web sites. That’s right, vishing completely avoids Web sites all together. In a vishing scam, people are sent spam mail, but instead of being directed to a Web site, they are given a phone number to call. If you call the number, it will seem like you’re calling the company that sent you the e-mail. They have all of the automated messages, hold music and even long wait times. When you finally reach a representative, they will ask you for your account information. That’s the scam! After getting the information from you, they can log in to your actual account and steal your money or identity.

So, how can you avoid falling for one of these scams? Here’s how!

If you receive an e-mail from a company asking you to call them, do not call! Instead, open your Web browser and go directly to the company’s Web site. From there, look up the number to reach them. By doing that, you know you’re calling the actual company. If you call and they aren’t aware of sending you an e-mail, make sure you let them know someone is attempting to pull off a vishing scam on their customers. That will then get them to start fighting against the scammers and you’ll know you’ve done your part to help. Until next time, stay safe out there, my friends!

~ Gary