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FBI warns of rise in vishing attacks

21 January 2008  |  10952 views  |  0 man with tablet

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning of an "alarming" rise in so-called "vishing" attacks which involve fraudsters using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to con banking customers into disclosing personal data.

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint centre (IC3) says vishing attacks targeting customers and financial institutions are continuing to rise at an "alarming rate".

Unlike regular e-mail phishing attacks, vishing uses SMS text messages or phone calls in addition to e-mail to persuade customers to divulge personal data, often by claiming their account is suspended, deactivated or terminated.

But in addition to bank account numbers, vishing attacks aim to con customers into divulging credit and debit card details. Customers are directed to contact their bank using telephone number provided in an e-mail or by an automated recording. The call is then routed through a VoIP answering system and customers are asked to enter their card number.

IC3 says it has received "multiple reports on different variations" of vishing. A version of the scam that was recently reported involved the sending of text messages claiming the recipient's online bank account has expired. The message instructs the customer to renew their online bank account by using the link provided.

The FBI says due to rapidly evolving criminal methodologies, it is impossible to include every scenario. the organisation is urging customers to beware of e-mails, telephone calls, or text messages requesting confidential data.

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