What is Vishing and Smishing?
What is vishing and smishing? These words may sound bizarre and fabricated. However, these are two ways that cybercriminals try to steal your information. By understanding these schemes, you are one step ahead of thieves. Below is an explanation of what these scams are and how they works.
Vishing scams target consumers by “spoofing” text or voicemail messages that ask you to call a phone number and give your personal information. Here’s how it works:
- You receive a “spoof” email or text message about suspicious account activity.
- The text or voicemail message will ask you to call a “customer service” number.
- When you call the customer service number, a recording will ask you to provide personal information such as account numbers, passwords, a social security number, or other critical information.
- The recording may not mention the company’s name and could potentially be an indication the call is being used for fraud.
- You can also receive a phone call.
- The call could be a “live” person or a recorded message.
- The caller may already have your personal information, which may seem as if the call is legitimate.
Smishing is when consumers’ cell phones and other mobile devices are targeted with mobile spam. The spam, or text messages, attempt to trick consumers into providing personal information. Here’s how it works:
- You receive a fake text message, which may include a fraudulent link, asking you to register for an online service.
- The scammer attempts to load a virus onto your cell phone or mobile device.
- The scammer may also send a message ‘warning’ you that your account will be charged unless you cancel your supposed online order.
- When you attempt to log on to the website, the scammer extracts your credit card number and other personal information.
- In turn, your information is used to duplicate credit, debit and ATM cards.
- Scammers may also send you a text message again ‘warning’ you that your bank account has been closed due to suspicious activity.
- The text message will ask you to call a ‘customer service’ number to reactivate your account.
- When you call the number, you are taken to an automated voice mail box that prompts you to key in your credit card, debit card or ATM card number, expiration date and PIN to verify your information.
- Again, your information is used to duplicate credit, debit and ATM cards.
At Anchor Bank, we work to keep our clients’ information secure and safe. However, you also play an important role in protecting yourself. By being aware of the types of scams thieves use to trick consumers, you can make educated decisions that will protect you and your families. Keep a look out for future blogs posts for financial tips and other ways you can protect yourself.