When Izaak Walton wrote about fishing in ‘The Compleat Angler’, first published in 1653 the most technical question which concerned him was probably which fly to choose.
It is difficult to know what he would have made of Phishing, the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Now we have another variation on the same theme with the advent of Vishing, which is basically Phishing over the phone. Financial Fraud Action UK has reported that £7 million was stolen in this way in the last 12 months, with the over 50s being targeted most
The way Vishing works and what to do about it are both quite simple. You may receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from a bank or building society fraud investigation team or the police. They try to get financial information from you such as your credit/debit card details (including your PIN), your bank account details and your full name, date of birth or address. This information is then used by the scammer to gain access to your finances or to get you to make payments into the scammer’s account
Tips to avoid becoming a victim of Vishing
1. Be wary of any calls from people you don’t know
2. Don’t call someone back if they ask you to do so when you don’t know the caller. Scammers can keep your phone line open by not putting down the receiver at their end.
3. Never disclose your:
- 4 digit card PIN to anyone, including the bank or police
- FULL password or online banking codes
- personal details unless you are sure who you are talking to.
Neither your bank or the police will ever:
- ask for your 4 digit card PIN
- ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them or transfer money to another account, even if they say it is in your name
- come to your home to collect your cash, payment card or cheque book
- ask you to purchase goods using your card and then hand them over for safe keeping.
if you are unsure about providing the information your caller has requested, visit your bank’s website to check their policy on what information they will and won’t request. If you are suspicious or feel vulnerable, don’t be afraid to terminate the call, and say no to requests for information Finally, remember that criminals may already have basic information about you in their possession (e.g. name, address, account details), so do not assume a caller is genuine because they have these details or because they claim to represent a legitimate organisation.
If you have been a victim of this scam, contact your bank or card company immediately. More information and advice on how to protect yourself from financial scams is available on the Financial Fraud Action UK website at: www.financialfraudaction.org.uk