Vishing: a new form of Identity Theft!
Electronic thieves have a new means of attack – text messages. Over the last several years, bogus emails have been used as a way to garner account information. As Internet users have become more savvy and learned not to click links in unsolicited emails, thieves have had to change their tactics. The latest scam involves using a text message to get you to reveal personal financial information. Do not respond. Simply delete. Please read below for more information on Vishing.
“Vishing,” short for “voice fishing,” has become the method of choice. Instead of sending you an email with a link to click on, thieves send you an email or text with a phone number to call — “fishing” for account information over the phone. The email/text appears to be from a financial institution and the typical story usually involves a “breach of security”, requiring you to call a special number and leave your account information for verification. As you can imagine, the email/text is not real, there was no security breach and the only reason they want you to call is so they can steal your account information.
In some instances, you might be asked to record your account number, PIN number or other piece of personal information. In other cases, someone might provide you with a piece of personal information — such as an old address or employer name — then ask you for “additional” account information. Sometimes you are asked to use the touch-tone pad on your phone to enter credit card numbers or access codes. Vishers have even been known to impersonate the Caller ID information on someone’s home phone.
What to do if you suspect a vishing attack.
It’s important that you are aware of the new and more sophisticated ways in which thieves are trying to steal personal information. By staying one step ahead of the bad guys and being vigilant in guarding your personal information, you’ll be much better prepared to avoid identity theft.
If you suspect an email/text, do not call the number provided in the note. If it tells you, for example, to call Bank X at a certain number, disregard that number and call the company directly at a number obtained from a reliable source. Advise them of the content in the email.