Vishing is a type of social engineering attack that uses voice communication, typically over the phone, to persuade the target to divulge sensitive information.
In this article, we will provide an overview of what vishing is, how it works, and what individuals can do to protect themselves from falling victim to it.
- Vishing is a type of social engineering attack that uses voice communication to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information.
- Attackers often pose as trusted sources like banks or government agencies to gain the target’s trust.
- To protect yourself from vishing, be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, especially those requesting sensitive information.
- Verify the identity of the caller by calling back on a trusted phone number or visiting the official website of the organization.
- Enable two-factor authentication on accounts to make it harder for attackers to gain access to sensitive information.
What is Vishing?
Vishing, short for voice phishing, is a type of phishing attack that targets individuals through phone calls.
Attackers often pose as trusted sources like banks, government agencies, or even family members to gain the target’s trust and make them more likely to comply with their requests.
Once they have gained the target’s trust, attackers use various tactics to extract sensitive information like login credentials, credit card details, or social security numbers.
A common example of vishing is when an attacker poses as a bank representative and informs the target that their account has been compromised.
They then ask the target to provide their account details, login credentials, or even one-time passwords to resolve the issue.
Another example is when the attacker pretends to be from the IRS and threatens legal action if the target doesn’t provide their social security number.
Statistics and Facts
In 2021, consumers reported losing over $5.8 billion to fraudulent activities, representing a 70% increase from the previous year, according to newly released data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The FTC received fraud reports from more than 2.8 million consumers last year, with imposter scams and online shopping scams being the most common categories reported.
Imposter scams were responsible for over $2.3 billion of the reported losses, up from $1.2 billion in 2020, while online shopping accounted for approximately $392 million in reported losses, up from $246 million in 2020.
Other top categories for fraud included prizes, sweepstakes, and lotteries, internet services, and business and job opportunities.
This represents a 25% increase from the previous year. Additionally, the report found that individuals aged 70 and over were the most likely to report losing money to imposter scams.
How to protect yourself from Vishing
There are several steps individuals can take to protect themselves from falling victim to vishing attacks. Firstly, be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, especially those requesting sensitive information.
If someone claims to be from a trusted source, like a bank or a government agency, verify their identity by calling back on a trusted phone number or visiting the official website.
Enabling two-factor authentication on accounts can also make it harder for attackers to gain access to sensitive information.
Vishing is a growing threat in the world of cybersecurity, and it is crucial that individuals take steps to protect themselves from falling victim to it.
By being cautious of unsolicited phone calls and verifying the identity of the caller, individuals can reduce their risk of being targeted by vishing attacks.
We would love to hear from you about your experiences with vishing. Have you ever received a suspicious phone call that you suspect was a vishing attack? What steps did you take to protect yourself? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
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