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Protect Your Finances: Defend Against Vishing

By Tom Seest

Can You Stop Vishing Attacks?

At BestCybersecurityNews, we help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, young learners, and seniors learn more about cybersecurity.

If vishing threatens your business, there are steps that you can take to thwart it. Remember that the best way to defend against vishing attacks is not to answer calls that look suspicious and to refrain from answering suspicious calls when possible.
One common form of vishing fraud involves someone pretending to be a computer technician and asking for your credit card information so they can fix an issue on your device.

Can You Stop Vishing Attacks?

Can You Stop Vishing Attacks?

How Do Cybercriminals Exploit Vishing?

Vishing, or voice phishing, is a cyber attack which involves fooling victims over the phone into divulging sensitive data. Vishing is a form of phishing which relies on victims trusting an attacker in order to steal sensitive financial or personal data; additionally it can be used in businesses to gain entry to their networks.
Vishing attacks are typically conducted via telephone; however, criminals may also employ other communication methods like email and text messaging to perpetrate these scams. Vishing attackers typically impersonate trusted entities like banks, police departments, tax departments, or even employers of their victims in an effort to lure them into providing confidential data such as account or credit card numbers or money in order to rectify a fictitious problem that has arisen.
Cybercriminals often utilize social media and other resources to gather the necessary details for an effective vishing attack. They may collect details like the victim’s full name, address and personal details before initiating fraudulent transactions such as charging fraudulent fees for computer repairs or antivirus software installations.
Victims can easily be duped into paying by using scare tactics such as threatening that their bank accounts will be depleted or that a credit card payment won’t go through. Sometimes, the caller may call at times when it would not normally be expected, such as late at night, outside working hours, or on holidays – an indicator that they are not an authorized representative from their company.
Vishing calls can often be identified by their sense of urgency. Real companies would never request bank details immediately over the phone and never seek confidential data during weekends or holidays; any unsolicited contact should, therefore, be treated with extreme suspicion. A robust cybersecurity solution like Fortinet’s Advanced Endpoint Protection (FortiEDR) offers one way of protecting against vishing: its multi-layer defense solution shrinks attack surfaces, detects threats quickly, mitigates them efficiently, and helps stop malware infection altogether.

How Do Cybercriminals Exploit Vishing?

How Do Cybercriminals Exploit Vishing?

Who Will Vishing Scammers Target Next?

Vishing (voice phishing) attacks aim to convince victims to divulge confidential data that can be used for identity theft or financial gain, often via email, traditional telephone calls, and voice-over IP (VoIP). Attackers employ various means, such as emails, traditional telephones, and VoIP calls, as well as advanced software like machine learning and deepfake audio, to carry out these attacks on unsuspecting victims.
Vishing attacks typically begin with a call that appears to come from a reliable source, typically banks, businesses or delivery services. Attackers pose as representatives from these institutions to convince victims their accounts have been compromised or someone is trying to steal their packages, then ask the victim to call back a number or download malicious software from them. Vishing can also involve impersonating government agencies such as the IRS or Social Security Administration in an attempt to issue fake tax bills with penalties attached in order to get payments made immediately.
Victims of vishing tend to be elderly individuals. Attackers can target these targets by impersonating Social Security or Medicare employees during open enrollment season, falsifying caller ID information to appear trustworthy, or creating recorded messages that sound similar to the voice of their victims (known as voice cloning).
Cybercriminals also leverage VoIP features for vishing attacks. A war dialer can call multiple people at once from different area codes before recording and leaving a prerecorded message that encourages victims to call back; voice synthesis adds another layer of realism while hiding their true identities.
Vishing attacks are more difficult to identify than phishing ones, making prevention even harder. One effective strategy for protecting yourself against vishing scams and attacks is remaining suspicious of any unsolicited messages or calls received while only answering calls from known or familiar contacts. Placing your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry might reduce some vishing attacks, but education on common scams and prevention tactics will help identify any signs that an attack might have taken place before it’s too late.

Who Will Vishing Scammers Target Next?

Who Will Vishing Scammers Target Next?

How Can You Stay Safe from Vishing Attacks?

As its name implies, vishing attacks utilize voice communication instead of email to gain access to personal information for fraudulent use, usually identity theft or money theft. Vishing attacks resemble those associated with phishing but use voice-only communication rather than email communication channels.
Most vishing attacks take the form of phone calls from attackers impersonating representatives from banks or government bodies, informing victims that their accounts have been compromised and demanding personal details including credit card numbers and PINs from them. They may even try to gain remote access to victim computers in order to install malware.
Victims may be persuaded to divulge information through convincingly authentic dialogue and the threat that their account or funds will be frozen unless they comply. They might be asked to call a number or online helpline; attackers might even claim they’re IT staff conducting maintenance on their device(s).
Vishing attacks may take the form of scams promising debt relief or quick riches schemes to take advantage of people’s natural desire for financial relief. Such attacks use people’s need for relief to exploit it.
Victims of vishing attacks will sometimes be made afraid by attackers calling from local area codes and making threats that their bank account could soon be closed down if they do not share information with them immediately. They might also threaten arrest or fines for not complying with their demands.
Vishing works by leaving an urgent voicemail that encourages victims to call back immediately, such as bank or government institution public phone numbers in caller ID or an automated system used for identity verification. Once called back, victims are directed to an identical-sounding phone number, which looks identical, and then instructed to enter personal data into an automated system in order to validate themselves as legitimate.

How Can You Stay Safe from Vishing Attacks?

How Can You Stay Safe from Vishing Attacks?

How Can You Safeguard Against Vishing Scams

Cybercriminals use vishing attacks to deceive victims into divulging sensitive data over the phone, with criminals using this data for identity theft, account takeovers, and credit card fraud. Victims may find these attacks hard to detect as their emails, text messages and calls use social engineering techniques that appear legitimate, and the aim is for victims to divulge personal details like name, date of birth, Social Security number, address phone numbers account details which will then start an endless cycle of crime by multiple perpetrators over time.
Businesses must ensure that employees understand vishing and its effects through training programs that educate users on recognizing phishing scams and refraining from divulging any personal data over the phone. Furthermore, organizations should create and implement a zero-trust policy that requires all users to authenticate themselves via device before being granted access to any systems or data.
Users should avoid responding to unsolicited phone requests for information in order to protect themselves against vishing attacks. If they suspect a call may be legitimate, they should use any publicly accessible means available by that institution to contact it for verification purposes, such as calling its public telephone number or using its email address provided on its website.
Apart from educating users about vishing and how they can prevent it, companies should invest in security technology that can proactively prevent vishing attacks before they happen – such as Yubico’s strong authentication feature, which helps block vishing attacks by authenticating devices, links, and sites – even if someone shares their credentials with a malicious link or website, the YubiKey will know it is invalid and refuse to authenticate them.
Vishing, like phishing and smishing, presents cyber security teams with an ongoing challenge. Even after providing education on these attacks and adopting zero trust policies, some people will still fall prey to them – this is why it is vitally important to invest in solutions like Yubico that verify identity across devices, links and sites.

How Can You Safeguard Against Vishing Scams

How Can You Safeguard Against Vishing Scams

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