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How scamsters try to steal from you using 'vhishing'; and here's how you can protect yourself

Scam operations have become much sophisticated over time and have also learned to bundle their calls in a professional manner which can fool many into giving personal and financial details over the phone.

August 04, 2017 / 02:30 AM IST

Ever got a call where the person on the other end is giving a ludicrous offer for being a loyal customer of a certain bank for a nominal amount?

"Sir, you have maintained a very good credit history with us, so our credit card department has decided to reward you with a 3 day, 2 night trip to any part of India or the world." Such was the nature of a vhishing call I received a few days back.

Listen to this:

Obviously, it sounds too good to be true, who wouldn’t want a free vacation? But here’s the catch – I was asked to pay a nominal fee upfront, by sharing my card details over the call.

Close

Now for such calls one can still make out that it’s a scam, where the scammer just wants my personal info and money.

But such is not always the case where one can easily distinguish whether a call is genuine or another attempt of fraud.

These scam operations have become much sophisticated over time and have also learned to bundle their calls in a professional manner which can fool many into giving personal and financial details over the phone.

What is vhishing?

Short for voice-based-phishing, vhishing is a criminal mechanism where people are lured to share their personal identity data and financial account credentials over the telephone, either to an IVR machine or a person.

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) is used for vhishing calls because caller IDs can be spoofed and the entire operation can be brought up and taken down in a short time, compared to a real telephone line.

The second recording is an example of such a call, where the person claimed to be calling from ICICI Bank and said that as the bank was not able to track my transaction details, it will issue me a new card. To get the new details I was asked to give the last 8 digits of my card and the expiry (the numbers I shared on the call were fake).

Listen to this:

The caller probably tried to charge me with the fake details I gave, he got frustrated and asked me for the entire 16 digit on the card.

As I revealed that I knew what was happening and he was in trouble for trying to fool me, I received a defiant challenge that even if I put my entire life trying, I won’t be able to touch this guy.

Such phishing calls always try to convince you that there’s an issue with your banking account or debit/credit card, which can be resolved if you share your details with them over the call.

Don’t fall for it.

If the caller is saying there is some issue or your financials are at risk, probe them further and say that you’ll call the bank. Hung up and check with your bank with whether any problem actually exists or not.

Remember, never share your confidential details like, card expiry date, CVV number, ATM pin, netbanking password and telephone pin with anyone, even with bank employees as they will never call for such details.

Most importantly, do report such calls to the cyber cell as it might help them with their ongoing investigations and pin down the masterminds behind such rackets.

Sidhartha Shukla
first published: May 8, 2017 02:41 pm
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