How Do They Work?
It’s difficult to verify a caller when you can’t see them – you usually ask questions and trust what they say. But with cybercrime in today’s world, you should never assume that the caller is safe. You should ask where they are calling from and for a callback number. Never give out any identifying information or confirm what they might ask you. Go to the trusted website of the caller and then call back in to inquire about the issue or call that you received. Even if the caller provides legitimate information, you should not confirm, as it might be stolen, and they need verification.
The caller might incite a sense of panic or fear of the situation – try your best not to react and know that a legitimate business would not want to cause alarm like that with their clients. Do not react because they have told you that it is time-sensitive or that they are a government agency. You should be skeptical if they are making promises of payment or free offers.
What About Those Silent Calls?
These calls can be for a variety of reasons. They may be robocalls or done via technology that maximizes call times for agents and their companies. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned that these calls can lead to fraud by verifying a phone number is legitimate once answered.
How Do You Prevent Vishing?
Do not answer unknown or suspicious calls. There are many ways that cybercriminals are working around this, including altering caller id, so remain on guard even if the number appears legitimate or familiar. Do not press buttons or respond to prompts for information or confirmation. And never give out personally-identifying information.