It has long been known that credit card security is basically a running joke among scammers who make a living out of stealing people's identities to make a quick buck. There are many ways wherein a credit card holder can lose control of his credit identity and end up in deep debt of purchases not his own. It seems that another type of credit card scam has been detected. They are calling it “vishing” and it is as insidious as they come.
“Vishing” is a play on the word “phishing”. Phishing is a type of scam which is popular online. The main purpose of the scam is to pose as a legitimate person or company and fish (“phish”) for the personal information of people connected to the internet. The key to a successful phishing scam is being able to convincingly impersonate a legitimate and trusted company or person.
Vishiing seems to have taken the scam of phishing offline and into the real world. Whereas in phishing, the common hook was a fake (but legitimate looking) e-mail, in vishing, the hook is a phone call. In vishing, the scammer makes a call to the victim and poses as a bank or credit company to get important details from a person. The key to the scam is the ability of the scammer to make the Caller ID of the phone display a legitimate number. With a seemingly legitimate caller ID, the victims are more apt to trust the caller and give up sensitive information to the scammer.
During a vishing scam, the scammer will make a call to their victim who they have already profiled thoroughly. The only thing they lack will be some important credit card information which they need to scam the victim's credit card line. When the call is answered by the victim, the scammer will then tell him that the scammer belongs to the security department of the victim's credit company. The scammer will inform the victim that he is getting the call because his credit company (the one the scammer is posing as a representative of) has detected a suspect purchase made on his credit card. The victim will then be asked to verify certain information which the scammer already knows from profiling the victim at an earlier date. The scammer will then ask the victim for some information from his credit card. This information, along with the other personal details of the victim, will be what the scammer will use to defraud the victim.
To avoid being victimized by vishing, if you receive a similar call as this, ask for the caller's employer ID and their name. Then immediately hangup and call your credit company to verify if the person actually does work for them.