Vishing is when people are unwittingly tricked into giving personal details over the telephone to a fraudster posing as a legitimate body such as their bank or their internet provider.
It could be a cold (unsolicited) call requesting personal information, which may attempt to get not only financial information such as bank account or credit card details, but also personal details that may be useful to fraudsters to gain access to accounts or commit identity fraud. This could include full name, date of birth, address and even names of relatives.
Another trick fraudsters may use is to ask you to call back, so as to make you feel comfortable that the call is legitimate. However, they can also keep your phone line open by not putting the phone down at their end – hence no matter what number you call, you’d be speaking to the fraudster.
The Financial Fraud Action UK has found that one in 25 UK adults have already fallen victim to vishing , with around four in 10 (43%) estimated to be over 50 years old.
FFA UK also found that almost four in 10 people (39%) admitted they found it challenging to tell the difference between a genuine and fraudulent call.
Fraudsters could use any information you unwittingly give them in several ways, such as to access your bank account, to make purchases and to apply for new credit.
Your bank would never ask you to hang up and call back, and would never ask for your PIN on the phone. If in doubt, end the call and don’t call back.
If you are concerned that you may have been a victim of vishing, it’s best to contact your bank or card issuer immediately using the number on the back of your card. If suspicious, use a different phone if you can.
Checking your credit report can be a major help in finding out whether or not your information has been found in the wrong place, as within your credit report there is information that confirms your identity, information about previous credit applications you’ve made, and there’s financial information, such as a list of your credit accounts and repayments. So it pays to make sure it’s up to date and accurately reflects your circumstances, and query anything that isn’t.
Experian CreditExpert web monitoring tool will scan the web for any mentions of your personal information and you will receive an instant alert if it appears somewhere new. This gives you early notification if you details may have been compromised or misused so that you can take immediate action to ensure you do not become a victim of fraud.