Vishing – The basics and how you can protect your business


In today’s digital world, we are all vulnerable to different types of fraud. Vishing is one of the most common types of fraud, and it can be devastating if you are not prepared. Vishing is a serious threat to businesses, customers, and individuals alike, as it can have devastating consequences if not detected and prevented.

To help protect yourself and your business from vishing attacks, it is important to understand what vishing is, how it works, and the steps you can take to reduce the risk. In this blog article, we will provide an overview of vishing, the potential risks it poses, and the measures you can take to protect your business and customers from this type of attack.

What is Vishing

Vishing is a form of social engineering attack which uses a phone call or voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology to gain access to sensitive personal and financial information. Vishing is a form of phishing, it combines the words ‘voice’ and ‘phishing’ and this type of attack is becoming increasingly popular with fraudsters as it is an easy way to access confidential information. Two new forms of such threats are smishing and vishing. Both refer to scams that are perpetrated through text messages and phone vishing calls.

Vishing scams usually involve the attacker pretending to be a legitimate representative of a company or organisation in order to get potential victims to provide personal data such as credit card numbers, passwords and other confidential data.

It is important to be aware of vishing scams and understand how to protect yourself from them. Vishing is an increasingly common form of fraud and one that can be difficult to prevent but understanding how it works and taking steps to protect yourself can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

How to avoid becoming a victim of Vishing?

The following points outline how individuals can avoid becoming a victim of vishing:

  • Understand how Vishing works: Vishing is a type of cyber-attack where fraudsters use voice-based communication such as telephone calls to trick and convince the victims into providing sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, or other personal information. Knowing how Vishing works can help you to recognise potential scams and protect yourself from becoming a victim.
  • Use caution when responding to fishing calls: Be wary of calls that request sensitive information. Do not provide any personal information unless you can verify the identity of the person on the other end. If a caller claims to be from a reputable company, hang up and call the company back directly at the number listed on their website to verify the identity of the caller.
  • Do not respond to unsolicited calls: Vishing scams often begin with an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from a legitimate organization. If the call seems suspicious, do not provide any personal information and hang up immediately.
  • Verify the caller’s identity: If you’re uncertain about the caller’s identity, hang up and contact the organization directly. Use contact information from the organization’s website or a trusted source, not from the caller.
  • Do not follow instructions to call a number provided: If the caller directs you to call a certain number, do not follow it. This could be an attempt to get you to call a spoofed number that looks legitimate but is actually a scam.
  • Do not provide sensitive information: Do not provide any sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card numbers or Social Security numbers to anyone over the phone. Legitimate organizations will never ask for this information over the phone.

Smishing and Identity Theft

To commit identity theft, criminals use vishing techniques to contact victims via phone, posing as legitimate representatives of businesses, banks, or government agencies. Vishing can have serious financial and reputational consequences for businesses. Business owners must be aware that vishing is a popular tactic used by cybercriminals and should take steps to protect their customers’ data.

This includes educating staff on how to spot a vishing scam and implementing robust security measures such as two-factor authentication and data encryption. By taking the time to understand the risks posed by vishing, businesses can better protect their assets and customers and help prevent identity theft.

Businesses are especially vulnerable to vishing attacks, as hackers can use spoofed phone numbers or fake caller ID names to appear as legitimate companies or banks in order to gain access to the victim’s personal information. Businesses should be aware of the potential risks associated with vishing and take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their customers. This includes educating employees on the risks of vishing and implementing policies and procedures to help prevent vishing and other forms of fraud such as identity theft and account takeover.

Vishing Attacks Techniques and Examples

Vishing attacks are on the rise, and they pose a serious risk to businesses. Fraudsters can obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and other data. Attackers can also use vishing to install malware onto a device or to redirect funds. The following are techniques and examples of vishing:

Caller ID Spoofing

Attackers will often use caller ID spoofing to make a call appear to be coming from a trusted source, such as a bank or government agency. This technique is used to gain the trust of victims, convincing them to provide sensitive information.

Voice Mail Scam

A vishing attack where criminals leave a recorded automated message on a victim’s voicemail that appears to be from a legitimate business or organization. The message requests the victim to call back, providing personal information or financial information, in order to receive a reward, update their account, or avoid a penalty.

Tech Support Call

A vishing attack where criminals pose as tech support representatives and contact victims by phone, requesting access to their computers to address a technical issue. The caller then either attempt to gain access to personal information or downloads malicious software.

VoIP (Voice over IP)

A vishing attack where criminals use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to make calls to victims and try to gain access to their personal information. This type of attack is often used for phishing, where the caller requests the victim’s bank account information.

Social Engineering

Attackers will use social engineering tactics to gain information from victims, such as by pretending to be from a legitimate organization. They may also use this technique to gain access to computers or networks.

Fake Offers

Attackers will often use fake offers or rewards to entice victims into providing sensitive information. In some cases, attackers may also use fake offers to infect victims’ computers with malware.

Recorded Messages

Attackers may record messages that are sent to victims, in order to convince them to provide sensitive information or follow instructions. These messages may be automated or personalized, depending on the attacker’s objectives.

How can organisations prevent vishing attacks?

Organisations can take the following steps to prevent vishing:

  1. Train employees on vishing attacks and the importance of keeping sensitive information secure: Provide employees with training on how to spot vishing attacks and the importance of keeping confidential information secure. Explain the types of information attackers can obtain through vishing and the potential consequences of a successful attack.
  2. Implement two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication (2FA) requires a user to provide two pieces of evidence (e.g. a password and a one-time code sent to their phone) to access an account or system. This makes it much harder for attackers to access accounts using stolen credentials.
  3. Harden telephone systems against attacks: Harden telephone systems against attacks by using features like caller ID, call blocking, and caller authentication. These features can help to prevent vishing attacks by making it more difficult for attackers to spoof phone numbers and impersonate legitimate callers.
  4. Use multi-layered security for sensitive data: Implement multi-layered security for sensitive data, such as encryption, secure storage, and access control. This will make it much harder for attackers to access and use the information they obtain from vishing attacks.
  5. Monitor telephone networks for suspicious activity: Monitor telephone networks for suspicious activity, such as unexpected calls or attempts to access sensitive systems. This will help to identify potential vishing attacks before they can do any damage.
  6. Educate users on the importance of verifying phone calls: Educate users on the importance of verifying phone calls before providing any sensitive information. Attackers will often try to impersonate legitimate organisations in order to obtain sensitive information, so users should always verify the caller’s identity before sharing any information.
  7. Implement voice biometrics: Implement voice biometrics to identify legitimate callers and prevent attackers from impersonating them. This technology can help to ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive information.  
  8. Secure the VoIP infrastructure and systems: this means ensuring that the VoIP network and its associated components are correctly configured and protected from unauthorized access and malicious activity. This can include using firewalls, encryption, and other security measures to protect the system from attackers.
  9. Utilising trusted call-back procedures: refers to the process of verifying a caller’s identity during a call. A call-back procedure typically involves a caller entering their phone number and a verification code, which is then sent to the caller’s phone for them to enter the system. This helps prevent unauthorized access to the VoIP system by verifying that the caller is who they say they are.
  10. Use strong passwords with strong authentication: the use of a combination of passwords and authentication methods to ensure that only authorised users can access the system. This can include using two-factor authentication and multi-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security by requiring additional information to be provided (such as a code sent to a user’s phone) in order to gain access.

Preventing vishing with Udentify

It is highly important to be aware of how vishing works and take the necessary steps to protect your business and customers from vishing. With Udentify, you can protect your business and customers from vishing attacks by using identity verification and authentication. Udentify provides an easy and secure way for users to verify their identity and authenticate themselves.

Udentify’s identity verification and authentication process are designed to provide an extra layer of security against vishing attacks. Users are required to enter personal information such as their full name, date of birth and address in order to verify their identity. Once verified, users can securely authenticate their online transactions with Udentify’s authentication processes.

Udentify also offers additional security features such as biometric authentication and liveness detection to further protect users from vishing attacks. Biometric authentication adds an extra layer of security by using facial recognition to identify the user.

By using Udentify’s identity verification and authentication process, you can help protect your customers from vishing attacks and feel confident that personal information is secure. With Udentify, you can have peace of mind knowing that your transactions are secure and protected.

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