The Dangers of Vishing — And How to Combat It

January 2023

You might be familiar with ransomware attacks and phishing scams, both of which have become increasingly common in recent years. However, one type of attack that you may not have heard of is vishing. Unfortunately, vishing attacks have been on the rise in recent months — and more people are falling victim to them.

What is vishing, and what are the dangers of this type of attack? What steps can you take to protect yourself? We’ve got all the answers to these questions and more below.

What is Vishing?

Even if you haven’t explicitly heard the term “vishing” before, there’s a good chance you already understand the concept. Specifically, vishing is an attack that aims to trick you into providing your personal/sensitive information to scammers over the phone. This could include anything from credit card and bank information to personal data, such as a Social Security number or a password.

Oftentimes, the elderly are common targets for this type of attack — but anybody can become a victim. People carrying out vishing attacks will often pose as employees from a bank, credit card company, or other reputable organization to request sensitive information. Others may even try to collect payment for a “service” or “bill” directly over the phone.

An Increase in Vishing Scams

You’ve probably noticed an increase in spam calls over the past few years. One study found that Americans saw a 10% increase in spam calls in 2021 over the previous year. Meanwhile, research by Verizon has found that 85% of today’s phishing attacks are occurring not just via email but over the phone and through other channels. Voice phishing is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.

How to Protect Yourself

So, what does this mean for the average American consumer? It means that in addition to being cautious about potential phishing emails, you should also be on guard when answering a phone call. As if you needed another reason not to answer your phone, it’s best to avoid answering calls from numbers you don’t recognize.

Likewise, never provide sensitive information over the phone. If you are asked for a Social Security number, bank account information, or other sensitive data via telephone (especially from an unsolicited caller), it’s almost definitely a scam.

These days, cell phone providers are becoming more sophisticated with their screening technology. You may even be notified of potential spam on some carriers while receiving a call from a new number. Take advantage of this technology and use it to protect yourself.

Step Up Your Security Game Today

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