In the past decades, technology has changed our lives in previously unimaginable ways and improved the way we live today. However, it has given scammers lots of new opportunities to deceive people. One of the most common scams today is called vishing. In this article, we will explain what vishing is and how you can avoid it.
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What is vishing?
You’ve probably heard of phishing, it is a scamming technique in which the scammer impersonates a person or a business to scam you out of money or get ahold of your personal information. Phishing typically happens via email, text message or phone calls, but vishing scammers use an internet telephone service, or VoIP instead.
Typically, a vishing scammer will create a fake Caller ID profile to impersonate a business or a person and make the call seem more legitimate. Then, he or she will call you and use social engineering, scare tactics and manipulation to get you to give them money or information that they can use to stead your money and identity.
Vishing techniques that scammers use to trick you
Most of us have heard about phishing before and, therefore, are alert when receiving strange phone calls and text messages. One of the first things most people do is look at the number of the person who is calling. If it is a random unfamiliar number, most people deem the call a scam and hang up. If the phone number is familiar, this validates the phone call and gives us confidence that the call is legitimate. This is precisely the goal of vishing scammers. Alternatively, if you don’t pick up the phone, the scammers don’t give up and leave a voice message, giving you yet another chance to get scammed.
There are several types of vishing that scammers use. The goal of one of them is to find out your bank account information. For instance, you may receive a voice message telling you that your bank account or credit card has been compromised and that you need to call back and reset your password. Once you call back, you will hear an automated message that asks you for your bank account or credit card information, which scammers can then use to spend your money.
Another vishing scam involves you receiving a message that you’ve won a vacation or another expensive prize. The only issue is that there is no prize and you will be asked to pay a redemption fee to claim the prize. Once the scammers get your money, they will disappear.
Some other vishing examples include unrealistic investment opportunity offers, car warranty extensions, offers of loans and credit cards and even requests for charity donations. It is also common for scammers to pretend to be IRS employees, bank workers, healthcare providers or debt collectors. In the end, their goal is to scam you out of money or your information, so if you receive an unsolicited call that asks you for money or information, simply hang up and call your bank, credit card company, etc. to find out if they were, in fact, trying to reach you.