‘Vishing’ is a process, used by fraudsters, to wheedle out your personal details over the phone, while pretending to be a legitimate body, like your bank or the police. It’s similar to online phishing, where scammers contact someone’s email address, to try to squeeze out important information. More than a quarter of adults in the UK are at risk of vishing scams, so you may very well be targeted.
With many people admitting that they find it difficult to tell the difference between a cold call and a genuine message from their service providers, we have a real fraud problem on our hands. According to statistics, the demographic that’s most vulnerable to vishing is one of the most vulnerable in most respects: elderly citizens.
The Risks Of Vishing
Identity fraud can be easily perpetrated with information, such as your bank account details, pin numbers, and personal details. Fraudsters may also try to trick victims into transferring money from their bank account into a criminal’s or into withdrawing cash for the scammer from an ATM – don’t move your money anywhere. In such circumstances, it is vital to contact a serious fraud solicitor.
One third of consumers experience, on average, ten cold calls a month – that’s a staggering amount. Contact the Telephone Preference Service to get certain numbers blocked from your phone line (it’s free) and stop repeated nuisance calls.
You shouldn’t be afraid to just put down the phone, if you suspect a cold caller has contacted you and asked for your details. Don’t assume the caller is genuine, even if he or she holds some information about you. They’ve probably done their homework, and garnered what they can online (or through some other dubious method), to seem legitimate.
This is tricky but, cold callers can also dupe you by asking you to check their authenticity. They may tell you to call your service provider, but will remain on the line. Immediately put down the phone if you don’t hear the dial tone. The visher is still there. Remember that it takes two people to end the call. Try to use a different phone to call them back, so you can be sure that you’re not being tricked.
Your bank will never call you up and ask for your pin number or tell you to withdraw money or ask you to transfer it to another account. Beware of any suggestion that isn’t expected and automatically have your suspicions when a service provider calls you from out of the blue. Usually, the onus is on you to contact banks and other service providers. They normally prefer to deal with anything serious through letters, as then they have documented proof of correspondence.
If you think you might have become a victim of a vishing scam, contact your bank or card company as soon as possible. Often, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, so don’t rush into any actions, even if they have frightened or worried you.