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Vishing Scams


Users of vishing scams use a combination of emails and phone numbers to make contact with their intended victims - the term vishing is short for "voice phishing". Identity thieves send fraudulent email falsely warning victims that their credit union, bank account or PayPal accounts have been compromised. Unlike phishing emails, there is no website address in these messages. Instead, the victim is urged to call a phone number to verify account details.

When an unsuspecting victim calls the phone number, an automated voice message says: "Welcome to account verification. Please type your 16-digit card number." In these reported scams, no mention of the credit union, bank or PayPal is made.

Security experts tracking this scam find the frauds particularly despicable because they imitate the legitimate ways people interact with financial institutions. In fact, some vishing attacks don't begin with email. Some come as calls out of the blue, in which the caller already knows the recipient's credit card number. This increases the perception of legitimacy, the caller asks for the valuable three-digit security code on the back of the card.

Be aware of Vishing

Do not be intimidated by an email or caller who suggest dire consequences if you do not immediately provide or verify information.

Never call a number that you receive from a spam email. If you unknowingly reach an automated voice message that asks you for private information, do not enter it. If you want to contact your bank, use the normal phone number you regularly use, never the phone number you get in an email.


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