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What Is Vishing And How To Protect Yourself Against It?


Vishing is the verbal version of phishing. So, while phishing means fooling people to click on malicious links to files or websites, vishing uses verbal scams, instead. Many times, if phishing does not pay off, attackers use vishing.

Usually, users consider doing the right things for themselves when they become victims. But let’s better understand this kind of scam.

What is vishing and how to recognize it?

Vishing is, in fact, voice or VoIP phishing. Attackers use phone calls, to trick their targets into revealing sensitive data.

This fraudulent practice might be difficult to identify. Usually, victims cannot understand what happens to them, before they hand over their credentials to hackers. Then, it is too late.

Still, there are a few things that trigger an alarm to anyone. So, let’s talk about these:

  1. Usually, callers pretend to be experts or even authorities in some field. They might introduce themselves as police officers, bankers, technicians, etc.
  2. All the calls involve a high level of urgency. Hackers try to make their victims act fast and not think too much about it. This should be a huge red flag.
  3. Sometimes, attackers ask their victims to click on links in emails or SMS messages (smishing) they send during phone conversations with their victims. Of course, these may trigger malware downloads. Then, users’ credentials become exposed.

Now, that you know the most important ways this trick works, let’s see how you can stay safe.

Learn to prevent these scams

Of course, there are ways to prevent the bad situations you might encounter because of these attacks. Here are the most important things to consider.

  1. Try to identify the callers’ professional affiliations. Ask them to do this. If they do not want or refuse this, do not trust them. Still, they might provide some information. In this case, you should immediately and independently verify it. For this, you can use the official phone number of the organization they pretend to represent.
  2. Never react impulsively! Avoid providing any personal information. Also, write down any details that the caller might provide.
  3. Never click on links that you receive by email or SMS, from an unknown person.

Although these might seem common sense steps, keep them in mind, to stay safe. Never share personal details with untrusted sources, and report any suspicious calls or messages to the authorities. Remember that using some advanced technology, attackers might lock their victims’ phone numbers, after hanging up. Then, they redirect their next calls to the attackers.

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