‘VISHING’ – it’s the name of the game

Whilst I am sure that other crimes are happening, it does seem that Cybercrime – in its many forms – is the sort of crime that we are most likely to hear about or even experience.

‘Vishing’ is the name coined for the telephone equivalent of ‘phishing’ using emails.  Sadly, the fraudsters seem able to bypass the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) by ‘spoofing’ legitimate phone numbers, and much more robust methods are necessary to stop these unwanted phone calls reaching us. 

The main objective of a ‘vishing’ phone call, is to frighten us into making a hasty decision and parting with bank or card details in an attempt to avoid the action threatened by the caller.  In the past few weeks I have been made aware of ‘vishing’ calls claiming to be from BT, TalkTalk, Microsoft, to name but three.

The gist of the message is generally that ‘your privacy has been compromised….’, ‘there is an issue with your broadband connection that needs resolving…….’, your computer has acquired a piece of malware…….’, etc., requiring you to select from options by pressing buttons on the phone’s keypad.  Fortunately, none of my callers have taken this option, but it is highly likely that the call would be transferred to the fraudster, who would then ‘crank up’ the pressure on the recipient to take some compromising financial action.

The majority of telephone service providers are now offering some form of call-blocking service, generally at no cost, eg. BT Call Protect, TalkTalk CallSafe, etc.  These systems appear to be more successful at blocking unwanted calls than is the TPS.  Some mobile phone services also offer similar call-blocking services – talk to your phone provider.  These systems are ‘tailored’ to your phone usage and can generally be managed online.

There is a simple solution to all ‘vishing’ calls – HANG UP!

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For further information about any of these topics or about Neighbourhood Watch, contact:

David Gresswell – Scheme Co-ordinator, Flackwell Heath

(Tel: 525019   e-mail: flackwell-nhwatch@talktalk.net)

Police General & Non-emergency number: 101

Community Safety Team (Anti-social behaviour): 01494 421 087

Crimestoppers (Anonymous): 0800 555 111

Trading Standards (Consumer Direct): 0345 4 04 05 06

Cyberaware – https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk/

ACTION FRAUD: 0300 123 2040 – https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/contact-us

The Information Commissioner’s Office: 0303 123 1113

NHS: 111