Computer Crime Research Center


Vishing - new online scam

Date: November 19, 2007
By: Shelly Whitehead

"Please notice that your VISA card is now disabled and you will not be able to use it. ... This is a security measure made by your bank. ..."

That's the kind of e-mail message that gets your attention. And some of those who recently received it probably did just as instructed and called the provided toll-free number to re-activate their credit cards. The problem is their cards were never de-activated in the first place. And if they called in and keyed in their card numbers, they opened their accounts up to a world of criminals.

That e-mail and many others just like it represent one of the latest trends in computer-based scams known as "vishing," short for voice phishing.

Like e-mail phishing operations, vishing also works by tricking people into handing over confidential financial account information. But instead of directing people to bogus Web sites, vishing scams instruct victims to call a phony company phone number, where they are typically directed to enter their identification numbers to rectify some fictitious problem with their accounts.
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