FBI warns of rise in phone-based 'vishing' attacks

The FBI is warning of a rise in "vishing," VoIP-based scam attempts.

With consumers finally getting wise to phishing attacks, scammers are hitting the phones.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) warned last week that so-called "vishing" attacks are on the rise. These are scams where criminals send an e-mail or text message to a victim, saying there has been a security problem and the victim needs to call his or her bank to reactivate a credit or debit card.

"Upon calling the telephone number, the recipient is greeted with 'Welcome to the bank of ...' and then [is] requested to enter their card number in order to resolve a pending security issue," the IC3 said in its alert.

In the past few years, inexpensive VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology and open-source call-center software has made it inexpensive for scammers to set up phony call centers, paving the way for these new types of scams. Security experts say that vishing can be more effective than traditional phishing techniques -- which direct victims to fake Web sites -- because the voice-based attacks have not been as widely publicized.

A new vishing scam involves sending text messages to cell phones, instructing victims to contact the fake online bank to renew their accounts, the IC3 said.

Those who are unsure whether they have been targeted by this scam should look up the bank's phone number and call the bank directly, the IC3 advises.

Operated in partnership with the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, the IC3 is a clearing house for Internet crime complaints.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?