Online Safety: What is Vishing and Why RBI Warns You To Stay Alert



New Delhi: In recent times, there has been a huge spike in the use of digital modes of payment. The online mode of transaction, which made its foray amongst the masses following the demonetisation, witnessed a massive surge during the Covid-19-induced lockdowns. There is not an iota of doubt that the online mode of payment has eased our daily lives, however, at the same time, the number of frauds reported in retail financial transactions have also gone up.Also Read – Rupee At Risk Of Further Decline To 82 Per Dollar In Near Term: Experts

Fraudsters have been using innovative methods to defraud the common and gullible people of their hard-earned money, especially the new entrants in the use of digital platforms who are not entirely familiar with the techno financial eco-system. Also Read – India On Course To Become Fastest-Growing Economy In World: RBI

Cases of Vishing have become common in recent times. Also Read – India’s WPI Inflation Rate Eases To 15.18 Per Cent, Marginally Lower Than May Numbers | Deets Here

What is Vishing?

Vishing is type of cyber crime in which the scammers uses the phone to steal personal confidential information from victims. Often referred to as voice phishing, cyber criminals use savvy social engineering ways to convince people to act to reveal their private information to get an access to bank accounts.

Vishers use fraudulent phone numbers, voice-altering software, text messages, and social engineering to trick users into divulging sensitive information. Vishing generally uses voice to trick users.

The scammer generally uses the social engineering to get you to share personal information and financial details during vishing phone call. The scammer might say your account has been compromised, claim to represent your bank or law enforcement, or offer to help you install software. Warning: It’s probably malware.

It’s getting easier to contact more people, too. Scammers can place hundreds of calls at a time using voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology and can spoof the caller ID to make the call appear to come from a trusted source, such as your bank.

How to spot a vishing scam

During the vishing scam, the caller will claim to represent the IRS, Medicare, or the Social Security Administration. None of these federal agencies will ever initiate contact with you by email, text messages, or social media channels, unless you’ve requested contact, to request personal or financial information.

  • The scammers will be in a frantic sense of urgency.
  • They will induct a sense of nervousness and fear, using threats of arrest warrants and problems with your account.
  • It is very important to remain calm, if you get one of these phone calls, never give out your own information and hang up and do your own investigation.
  • The caller asks for your information.
  • They may ask you to confirm your name, address, birth date, Social Security number, bank account info, and other identifying details.
  • To trick you into thinking they’re legit, they may even have some of this info on hand.
  • The goal is to get the remaining info that they don’t have yet.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released a booklet titled “BE(A)WARE – Be Aware and Beware!” to raise awareness about fraudulent transactions.

  1.  Imposters call or approach the customers through telephone calls / social media posing as bankers/company executives/insurance agents/government officials, etc. To gain confidence, imposters share a few customer details such as the customer’s name or date of birth.
  2. Bank officials / financial institutions / RBI / any genuine entity never ask customers to share confidential information such as username / password / card details / CVV / OTP.
  3. Never share these confidential details with anyone, even your own family members, and friends.

What is the Difference Between Vishing and Phishing?

Phishing:

  • The main difference between phishing and vishing is the medium used to target potential victims.
  • Phishing is primarily an email-based attack
  • Phishers send messages to potential victims, usually in high volumes.
  • Phishing attackers send a large number of email messages to a list of potential targets.
  • Phishers generally use compelling email messages to trick users into replying with sensitive information or convince the user to click a link where malware is hosted.
  • Malicious attachments are also used in some phishing attacks.

Vishing

  • Vishing uses voice, typically calls to a user’s cell phone number.
  • Vishers send messages to potential victims, usually in high volumes.
  • The visher first send a text message to potential victims in high volumes from a long list of phone numbers.
  • The message might ask users to make a phone call to the attacker’s number.
  • Vishing method creates an automated message and robo-dials potential victims.
  • It uses computer-generated voice messages to remove accents and build trust.
  • The voice message then tricks the user into connecting to a human agent who continues the scam, or the it might ask users to open an attacker-controlled website.





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