What is Vishing?
Vishing is a type of phone scam that uses social engineering to trick victims into revealing personal information or financial data. The term vishing is a combination of “voice” and “phishing.”
Vishing attacks typically start with a phone call from someone who claims to be from a legitimate organization, such as a bank, government agency, or credit card company. The caller may say that there is a problem with your account and that you need to provide them with personal information, such as your Social Security number or credit card number, in order to fix it.
Once the caller has your personal information, they can use it to commit identity theft, make fraudulent purchases, or access your financial accounts.
How Vishing Works
Vishing attacks typically follow a four-step process:
- The caller identifies themselves as a legitimate representative of a company or organization. The caller may use a fake name or title, or they may spoof the caller ID to make it look like they’re calling from a legitimate number.
- The caller creates a sense of urgency. They may say that your account has been compromised, that you’re at risk of being arrested, or that you’ll lose your benefits if you don’t act immediately.
- The caller asks for personal information. This could include your Social Security number, credit card number, bank account number, or other sensitive information.
- The caller hangs up. Once they have the information they need, they’ll hang up the phone and disappear.
The Threat of Vishing to Small Businesses
Vishing is a serious threat to small businesses. Small businesses are often less sophisticated than larger companies when it comes to security, and they may not have the resources to invest in expensive security measures. As a result, they’re more vulnerable to vishing attacks.
Vishing attacks can have a devastating impact on small businesses. If a scammer is able to gain access to a small business’s financial information, they could make fraudulent purchases, steal money, or even bankrupt the business.
Solutions to Protect Small Businesses from Vishing
There are a number of things that small businesses can do to protect themselves from vishing attacks. These include:
- Train employees on vishing scams. Employees should be aware of the signs of a vishing attack, and they should know how to respond if they receive a suspicious call.
- Use caller ID verification. Caller ID verification can help to identify fraudulent calls.
- Never give out personal information over the phone. If you receive a call from someone who asks for personal information, hang up and call the company or organization directly using a number that you know is legitimate.
- Use strong passwords and security questions. Use strong passwords and security questions for all of your online accounts. This will make it more difficult for scammers to gain access to your accounts.
- Keep your software up to date. Keep your operating system, web browser, and other software up to date. This will help to protect your computer from malware and other security threats.
By following these tips, small businesses can help to protect themselves from vishing attacks.