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What is Vishing?

In this digital age, we depend upon email and chat apps to communicate. We rely on social connections to help us make purchasing decisions. We book our vacations and send our loved ones’ flowers without ever leaving our homes. So, it might come as something of a surprise to find out that one of the most effective fraudulent activities in this day and age, still uses the good old telephone. In fact, what is known as “vishing” is the precursor to email “phishing” and is one of the oldest con tricks around.

How Does Vishing Work?

Vishing is the process of calling up a person, whilst emulating a respected third party, in an attempt to solicit private information from the person receiving the phone call. For example, a vishing call might see the caller telling the receiver that they work for a bank. They will explain that there is some problem with the receiver’s account and that they need to check some details. They will then ask for account information, which they can then use for further illegal activities.

Up Close and Personal

The reason why vishing is still so common stems from the fact that the one on one personal approach makes it very easy for the fraudster to gain the confidence of the person on the other end of the phone. People are generally very trusting, and that personal contact empowers the fraudster to bring their charm and eloquence into play. Where we might easily see through an email asking us for our bank details as a scam, it is much harder to see through a vishing call.

Some vishing teams work across international boundaries. With localized operators tracking down potential vishing targets, and in some cases using techniques such as dumpster diving to get background information on them, prior to attempting to con them. They target exactly the people who are likely to fall for their scam. Vishing is big business. And if your company is being used as a vehicle for vishing fraud, it can have a very negative effect on brand image.

Stopping Vishing

If you have become aware that a vishing team is misrepresenting your company and using it as a front for vishing activities, then stopping it is a complex process. You are going to need to gather information about a number of vishing calls, the time they were made, and to what telephone numbers. You will then need to contact telecommunications companies and request that they release call records for those particular telephone calls. Something not easily done.

Once you have those records you would need to trace them back to the originating location, which will likely be overseas. Once you have this info, you will then need to employ a lawyer to take legal proceedings against the people responsible for the vishing. As we can see, this is a very complicated process. In most cases, it makes much more sense to hire a firm that can handle this on behalf of your company.