One scam on the rise is ‘vishing‘, or voice phishing. Con artists phone people and pretend to be bank staff or the Police or some other authority figure and have a story that lets them try to get the subject’s personal details, credit card details, bank account password etc. depending on the specific scam.
For the bank account scam, they typically warn of fraudulent activity on your account. They then persuade you to move your account to a safe place (which happens to be an account owned by the scammer) and they convince you to give them the details necessary for the transfer or convince you to move the money yourself.
Then you finds out the account belongs to someone else and the money is gone.
One trick commonly used is to tell you to call their bank and confirm what’s happened but the scammer stays on the line and you thinks you are talking with bank staff but in fact it’s another member of the scammer’s team.
Some scammers are sophisticated enough to use Voice Over IP lines and display a number of their choice on your phone display.
Voice phishing is very difficult for the authorities to monitor or trace and the best answer is to protect yourself.
Do not be pushed into precipitate action where money is concerned. If in doubt – use someone else’s phone to contact your bank or go in and talk with them.
The fraudsters have also started using the bank’s own technique of making recorded message calls to their customers but in this case to warn the customer of a problem and giving a number to call which is the scammer. This adds an air of authenticity to the scam. Alternatively when called it may be a computer responder that asks for the subjects bank details etc.
There are lots of variants on this illegal activity but be careful and verify who is calling you and always take the time to think – don’t be pushed into doing something that could turn out badly.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.