Vishing - Protect Your Information

Vishing, or voice phishing, is a scam that occurs over the phone. Most often, you receive a phone call from someone giving a fictitious name who attempts to trick you into revealing personal or financial information. This information is then used for identity theft, financial fraud or other criminal activity. However, as the saying goes, "forewarned is forearmed," and learning to recognize a vishing phone call is one more weapon in your IT security arsenal.

Learn to catch a vish

Vishers (scammers) may offer non-existent, extravagant prizes, products or services to lure you in and then request your credit card number or other personal information to cover "associated fees" or the like.

Other common examples include:

  • Offers from a company with which you've never done business.
  • Offers from a business of which you've never heard.
  • An announcement that you have won a prize in a contest you did not enter.
  • Promises of unrealistic returns for your money.
  • Pressure to make immediate decisions to give the caller:
    • Money
    • Financial account information
    • Personal information
    • ECU information, including coworker names, contact or personal information
  • Threats of consequences-such as fines or penalties.
  • Unprofessional, hostile or even obscene language.
  • Unsolicited calls offering to help you with debt, unpaid taxes or previous cases of fraud.

You can learn more about these and other signs of a scam from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) phone scam page.

Protect your information

  • If suspicious of a caller, ask him/her for a name and number. Advise you will call back. Then, find the organization's number on an official website and try to contact the person. If the caller refuses to provide this information or is persistent in asking you for information, advise that you will not assist and disconnect the call.
  • Do not pay fees for prizes or rewards offered by phone.
  • The IRS will never ask for debit or credit card numbers by phone or demand immediate payment using specific methods like prepaid gift cards, debit cards or wire transfers. The IRS will generally contact you first via U.S. Mail.
  • Do not send money or give out personal information (such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or Social Security numbers) in response to unsolicited phone calls from unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.
  • Don't trust caller ID. Phone numbers and caller identities can be faked. There have been reports of forged phone numbers from government offices, businesses and institutions.
  • Follow this guidance from the FTC:

If you receive what you suspect to be a Vish or believe you have given out university information to a scammer over the phone, please report this to the IT Help Desk 252.328.9866 | 800.340.7081.

Details

Article ID: 67472
Created
Mon 11/25/19 2:25 PM
Modified
Mon 9/21/20 8:47 AM