What is Vishing? Definition and Examples

Online fraud is a growing problem, so being informed about its different forms helps you stay safe. Unfortunately, vishing can seem very convincing. The simple definition of vishing is that it’s a form of fraud that involves voice calls. You may be called, or you may receive messages prompting you to call a number. When you do, the fraudster persuades you to make a payment or divulge sensitive information that they use to commit a crime. 

Traditionally, the victims of Vishing tended to be private individuals. Often, they were less tech-savvy, older people, but vishing has become much more sophisticated lately. As a result, businesses should be aware of the different types of vishing. Even the largest organisations, and those who see themselves as being up-to-date with all the latest technologies, can be at risk. 

We’ll strive to give you the latest information on vishing – but we are shooting at a moving target. As technology advances and people become more cautious about fraud, scammers continue to dream up new methods and implement ever-more advanced tools. The most current examples of vishing tactics will illustrate this. 

Types of Vishing

1. Vishing Using AI

AI can now clone people’s voices, mimicking their speech and intonation so well that even close associates are fooled. This tactic was used in a hugely complex scam during which nearly £28 million pounds were stolen from a major company. A combination of falsified emails and vishing were used, with a call from a fraudster impersonating the company’s CEO sealing the “deal.” 

2. Robocalls

Vishing using robocalls has been around for a long time, and awareness is growing. Nevertheless, with caller IDs being falsified, there’s still a risk of being taken in by them. Strategies vary. You may be asked to share specific personal information which allows for identity theft, or you may be directed to call a scam call centre where the aim may be to hack your computer, persuade you to make a payment, or direct you to a falsified website where your login details are stolen. 

3. VoIP Vishing Attacks

VoIP is the way to call these days, but it can make it possible for scammers to create false phone numbers which they then use to initiate vishing attacks. It’s possible to get better protection when using email, so asking callers to conduct business through email may thwart a vishing attack. 

4. Vishing Using Caller ID Spoofing

Most of us know the need for caution when talking to an unidentified caller. But what if caller ID clearly states that you’re getting a call from the police, tax authorities, or even a local hospital? Chances are, you’ll pick up the phone, and the “urgent” situation you’re presented with may lead you to divulge information you wouldn’t usually volunteer over the phone or enter into transactions you wouldn’t ordinarily consider. 

5. Tech Support or Supplier Scams

Tech support scams targeting the general public are nothing new. But one of the newer developments targets businesses. The caller will have enough information to sound legitimate. All your employee has to do is enter their password – and that gives fraudsters access to valuable data assets. Alternatively, an employee with authorisation to make payments may be contacted by someone posing as a vendor the company uses. They may indicate that there is some kind of urgent problem and that urgent payment is required. 

Vishing in the UK

In 2022, the Independent reported that 70 percent of businesses had experienced vishing attacks. If other forms of phishing are included, the number and frequency of attacks increases along with it. 

In terms of businesses targeted by phishing and vishing, Transunion reports that there’s been a drop in attacks on financial services providers (FSPs). But in other sectors, remote fraud is on the rise. The company speculates that fraudsters are finding it increasingly difficult to target FSPs while other businesses aren’t as alert and are therefore easier targets. 

How to Protect Your Business From Falling Victim to Vishing

Vishing attacks take advantage of person-to-person contact. So, if the person who receives a vishing call is trained to follow the correct systems and knows how to spot suspicious calls, the scammer can be stopped in their tracks. At Advantex, we work to eliminate cyber risks that stem from user behaviour. Although fraudsters keep developing new methods, we’re ahead of the curve when it comes to identifying new threats – and we keep your business safe through our Educate programme. 

With your employees following secure procedures, simply acting on the content of a phone call is no longer a risk. And as soon as the attempted fraud moves to other platforms, Advantex Protect kicks in. Cutting-edge protection against phishing scams of every description is within your reach. 

Finally, we ensure that your data is as safe as it possibly can be. After all, bad actors see data as a type of currency that can easily be converted into more traditional currencies. But, without access to your data, there’s no possibility of profit. 

This three-pronged approach is tried, tested, and keeps on developing. Why wait for fraudsters to adopt the latest technologies when you can pre-empt their efforts with Advantex? Talk to us about advanced cyber security solutions. We’re here to help you stay safe. 

Read about other types of Phishing: Spear Phishing, Clone Phishing, Whale PhishingSmishing.


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