We live in a world where technology and information is more accessible than ever before. While this can help make life easier, there are ways that this abundance of technology and information can be dangerous. Scammers are well aware of this, and are always looking for new ways to steal your information. Phone calls, emails, text messages and many other forms communication are ways scammers attempt to get your information. While most of you already know that scammers are out there, the ways that they obtain your information may not be so well known.
Here at Central, we want to change that by breaking down their methods for you. This is a two part post as next week we will break down how scammers try to gain access to your information through email, a computer or mobile devices.
Before we break down Vishing, also known as voice phishing, we need to make sure you are all aware of one thing. If you have any suspicions about a phone call you receive, do NOT give out your information. A caller ID can be easily spoofed. This makes it more difficult to know for certain whom you are actually speaking with. Any time you feel uneasy about the source of the call you receive, it is best to listen to your instinct and refrain from giving out information. If they are a credible source they will understand your concern and give you another option for how you can get assistance, like going into a local branch or store.
For scammers calling people to try and steal their personal information is one of the oldest tricks in the book. The scammers may start by calling you stating that you’re eligible for a loan, or have won a trip. They lure you in by giving you all the juicy details. Then, once they have sparked your interest, they start asking for your personal information. Now I know what you’re thinking, “what if it isn’t a scam? What if I really am eligible for a loan or am getting a free all inclusive trip to Vegas?” There is a simple way to answer this question that will avoid all confusion. Unless you applied for a loan, or were aware of a contest you had recently entered in, don’t take the bait. If they are claiming you are eligible for a loan, what will likely happen next is they will ask for your online banking login information.
Once they have your login credentials, the scammer may try to mobile deposit a fraudulent check into your account hoping that the bank doesn’t try to stop it. Since giving out your online banking information allows them to see your account number, once the check clears, they can take money from your account and leave you with quite a mess to clean up.
If the scammer doesn’t ask for this information, they may directly ask you for your account and routing number. If they seem to be pushing you to give them your information, it’s more than likely a scam.
Think about this, if it is an all inclusive trip to Vegas, why do they even need your bank account or your Social Security number? It was a free trip. If you do get one of these phone calls, it is best to get the business’s name, and do your own research before giving them any information.
There are numerous other methods scammers use when calling you. One recent notable vishing attempt involved scammers claiming to be from the IRS. This method is most common during tax season. In this phone call, the “IRS” claims you owe them, the scammer poses as the “IRS” claiming you owe them money. Something to note, the IRS does not call, text or email people that owe them money, and they send you a letter.
Another method that was well publicized recently was the “can you hear me?” scam. In this scenario, the scammers are trying to get you to say certain words they can record for future use.
While only one of these methods of vishing directly targets your banking information, they may both lead to fraudulent activity on your account. Nobody has the time, or wants to deal with, that headache. Hopefully, reading this has helped to make you more aware of some the potential dangers at the end of the phone line. And never forget, if you ever have any concerns about a suspicious phone call you received, or notice odd transactions on your account, you are always welcome to come to one of our branches, or call us, so that one of our friendly representatives can help safeguard your account or answer your questions.