Technological advancement, particularly in the telecommunication field, has made life extremely easy. However, as it is with many human successes, there are always individuals determined to undermine them both for personal gain and even just for mischief. An example of such illegal acts is vishing which is an acronym for ‘voice phishing’.
What is Vishing?
Vishing is one of those techniques that fraudsters use to obtain critical and confidential information from IP phone system users. They do this by impersonating staff of financial institutions and other service providers who are custodians of their customers’ confidential information. These scammers may call you with false claims of errors on your accounts with a particular service provider. The fraudsters then offer ‘solutions’ to you, the IP phone system user they call by asking you for confidential information like credit card or bank account details.
The information obtained by these criminals is then used to hack into your financial accounts. Once scammers gain access to your account, you become one of their as they can transfer funds from your account using the information you offered.
It is quite alarming when you realize how sophisticated these criminals have become. Through the use of caller ID spoofing, even the most vigilant persons can easily fall for their schemes. Receiving a call from a number disguised as a genuine number from a service provider will make anyone comfortable and suppress suspicion of any kind.
Some fraudsters use both vishing and phishing to advance their unlawful agenda. You should note that phishing is similar to vishing, but then, vishing occurs through the use of voice technology while phishing occurs online through the use of deceitful emails and links. Businesses or individuals first receive suspicious emails with details of ‘problems’ with their account by specific service providers (Phishing). The email then gives details of how to call the scammers to ‘resolve’ the ‘problems’.
Given that these schemes could be used to take advantage of VoIP users leading to massive losses to businesses, precaution needs to be taken.
Tips to Detect and Prevent Vishing
The tips listed below will come in handy in safeguarding you and your businesses from vishing attacks:
- NEVER call a number as instructed on a suspicious message you receive. Instead, visit the service provider’s website and call the number indicated on their website.
- Don’t reveal sensitive, confidential information over the phone.
- Due to the fact that some numbers might appear genuine due to caller ID spoofing, always confirm the caller ID. Ask confirmatory questions to be certain about the name of the person calling, the organization that they are working for and their role in the organization.
- Always stay on top of your account activities. This can be done by keeping records of all transactions and monitoring all activities on a regular basis.
- Have filters in place that will prevent malicious numbers from successfully making a call to you.
VoIP is extremely beneficial to businesses and particularly SMEs. Through our VoIP PBX system, you can access unlimited VoIP calls with free IP handset.
To guard against the erosion of benefits brought about by VoIP like unlimited calls, measures to prevent vishing should be adhered to. Vishing, especially through IP phone system, is very hard to trace. The more reason why caution is important.