Protecting yourself from fraud
You may have heard of phishing – when scammers use fake emails from trusted organisations like banks, service providers and government departments to trick victims into handing over sensitive information. Well, vishing is the voice call equivalent.
Vishing - or voice phishing – is a form of cyber attack that attempts to trick victims into giving up sensitive information like credit card numbers, bank account details and passwords, over the phone. While that may sound dated, it’s no old fashioned scam. In fact, vishing attacks regularly make use of automated voice simulation technology or personal information gained from earlier cyber attacks to put victims at ease, often much to their cost.
The importance of being able to recognise this kind of attack and be ready for it can’t be underestimated. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can help protect yourself against them.
This might include sending phishing emails, with the aim of getting a potential victim’s phone number, which they can then use as part of the scam.
Typically, visher scammers create fake caller ID profiles so that the phone numbers they’re calling on seem legitimate and from a local area code or a trusted business.
Visher scammers usually pose as a trusted source – for instance, someone from a bank, credit card company, HMRC or a service provider - to trick people into handing over personal information. Typically, they’ll make vishing requests sound urgent in order to panic their victims into acting without thinking first.
Once scammers have got the sensitive information they’re after, like a victim’s credit card details for instance, it can be used to commit financial theft, like unauthorised purchases or withdrawals from that person’s bank account.
Recognising the tell-tale signs of a vishing attack can help protect against them. Here are a some of the most common scams to look out for:
These scammers may pretend to be from your bank’s fraud team, and call you to say there’s a problem with your card or account – for example, your card has been cloned. They’ll aim to get information like your log-in passwords, card numbers or PIN, and in some cases, even your One Time Passcode (OTP). Of course, at Barclaycard, our fraud team would never ask you for these. In fact, so you’ll always know when it’s us calling you, here’s a simple guide to check it’s us.
These callers offer you compensation for things like a recent car accident. They may well be genuine, but unless you’re sure they are, it’s best not to share any personal information. Instead, it’s much safer to contact companies yourself if you’re considering making a claim.
A caller from a bogus helpdesk will tell you your computer has a virus, but they can fix it with anti-virus software for a fee. Their aim is to either install spyware on your computer and access your personal details, or get your bank card details.
A scammer claiming to be from HRMC will call to say you have an unpaid tax bill or an issue with a refund. Don’t give them any details. Instead, call HMRC direct to find out if there’s a genuine problem.
It pays to be suspicious of callers who use urgent or forceful language to try to elicit a response. It’s also important to remember that institutions such as banks and building societies, utilities providers or government departments, like HMRC for instance, will never ask for personal information like passwords or PIN codes over the phone.
There are a number of ways you can help protect yourself against vishing scams, like keeping up to date with latest guidance. Of course, the more you understand vishing, the more prepared you’ll be to handle a bogus call should it come.
Here are a few simple measures you can take:
If you spot the signs of a vishing scam, you can report it to Action Fraud, the national fraud and crime reporting centre. They’ll review your report, and send it to the police if necessary.
If money’s been taken from your account or you’re worried a scammer might have enough of your details to do so, let your bank know straight away. They can then protect your account from further issues.
We believe you can’t be too safe. So here are just a few ways we keep your account secure:
If you’ve had a suspicious phone call, you can speak to our fraud team by calling the number on the back of your card, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find out more about reporting a scam.
Barclaycard’s fraud team are dedicated to stopping scammers in their tracks. So we’ve created a Fraud Fighter tool to help keep you prepared and protected.