What is Vishing and how to defend yourself

This new telematics scam goes through the phone instead of the Internet. The goal, however, does not change: to steal your credit card money

The world of online scams does not seem to know crisis and periodically new methods are invented to steal sensitive data or steal money from users. Not a day goes by that our email inboxes aren't flooded with not very credible requests to send money from equally not very credible young and beautiful girls from the east.

Or with much more sophisticated messages from fake banks and companies that manage credit cards and invite us to confirm our data, and then take away sums of money: the so-called online phishing. Or, and this is one of the most recent and dangerous scams, it can even happen to receive a call on the phone. This is the so-called "Vishing", a term that combines the two words "Voice" and "Phishing". A type of phishing that doesn't travel via email, but via phone. The purpose, however, is exactly the same: to obtain the number of our credit card, the expiration date and the security code, in order to use the card in our name and steal money.

How does Vishing work?

Very often the scammers know some data of our card, such as the number and the expiration date. They can find them by hacking into the security systems of e-commerce or other sites where we buy goods or services. The actual scam starts with a phone call from a fake financial institution: "We believe you've been the victim of a scam during a transaction with your credit card. Is this your credit card number?". When we hear on the other end of the phone that they know our card number, we almost spontaneously take the bait and answer, "Yes, this is the number." We also confirm the expiration date, which the scammers already know. What only we know is the third piece of information needed to perform a credit card transaction (or debit card, such as rechargeable cards): the 3-digit security code. But when they ask us to turn over the card and read the code, to confirm that they are talking to the real owner of the card, very often we have already fallen into the scam and unconsciously give them the last piece of information they need to steal our money.

How to defend yourself from Vishing?

It is very important not to give the caller any information, even if they know almost everything about our card. In order not to fall for the scam, it is necessary to write down the number from which they are calling us and stop the call immediately. Then we have to contact the bank or the company that issued the credit card and talk to the assistance. If the call we suspect came from one of their offices, they are certainly aware of it, because these calls are all recorded and traced. In a few minutes we can avoid being scammed and give our credit card company the phone number of the person who called us to scam us. The same number we will give, later, to the Postal Police to start investigating the scammers. If the call comes from an anonymous number, instead, there is no doubt: they call us to cheat us.