October 1, 2023

Preventing vishing attacks: Best practices for businesses

Preventing vishing attacks: Best practices for businesses

As their potential victims have caught on to scammers' attempts to use poorly written emails to trick them into sharing personal or other sensitive information, cybercriminals have become more sophisticated, patient, and precise with their attacks.

This had led to a new form of attack: vishing. Vishing, short for "voice phishing," is a type of fraud where scammers use phone calls in an attempt to trick their victims into revealing private information. These criminals attempt to impersonate legitimate entities—such as banks, government agencies, or even well-known companies—using carefully crafted scripts and social engineering tactics to manipulate their targets.

For criminals, this form of attack is a numbers game; they just need one or two victims to make off with a big pay day, leaving your business picking up the pieces in the form of financial losses and reputational damage.

Here’s what your business needs to know about these scams and the best practices you can employ to prevent vishing attacks.

Vishing attacks: What you need to know

At a fundamental level, vishing attacks are like other forms of phishing, which rely on social engineering in an attempt to bypass digital security measures with psychological tricks and persuasion to attain illicit access. The end goal is the same, too, with scammers hoping to  extract valuable personal data such as credit card numbers, social security details, or login credentials.

To pull of their crime, these cybercriminals can use a variety of techniques:

  • Caller ID spoofing: Scammers manipulate caller ID information to display a fake or trusted number, making it appear as though the call is coming from a legitimate source.
  • Pressure tactics: Scammers create a sense of urgency or fear during the call, pressuring the victim to provide sensitive information quickly without thinking.
  • Seemingly legitimate requests for verification: Attackers pose as trusted entities such as banks, government agencies, or tech support, requesting victims to verify personal information to address a supposed issue.
  • Impersonation of authority figures: Scammers impersonate figures of authority, such as supervisors or law enforcement officers, to coerce victims into divulging confidential information.
  • Reward or prize lures: Fraudsters entice victims by falsely offering rewards, prizes, or exclusive deals, prompting them to disclose sensitive details in exchange.
  • Phony tech support: Scammers claim to be technical support personnel from well-known companies, convincing victims to grant them remote access to their devices or share account credentials.
  • Emergency scenarios: Attackers fabricate emergencies, like a family member in trouble, to exploit victims' emotions and prompt them to disclose personal data.

Phishing voicemails: Scammers leave voicemails with urgent messages, directing victims to call back a specified number and then extracting sensitive information during the conversation.

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Best practices for preventing vishing attacks

Fortunately, with the right combination of training and preventative technology, businesses can thwart vishing attacks.

Here are the major steps your team can take to keep your data safe:

Developing strong awareness

Your employees play a key role in preventing vishing attacks, so provide them with information on how to exercise caution when receiving calls from unknown or unfamiliar numbers — or when they are confronted with pressure tactics to create a sense of urgency.

Scammers often rely on the element of surprise and urgency to catch victims off guard, so encouraging employees to verify the identity of the caller before sharing any personal information is a critical step in preventing vishing attacks. Scammers often exploit victims' trust by posing as reputable entities, but taking the time to verify their identity can prevent falling victim to their schemes.

This can be as simple as hanging up and independently looking up the known, trusted contact information for the entity the caller claims to represent. This way, employees can initiate contact on their own terms and verify the legitimacy of the call before sharing any sensitive information.

Implementing security measures

Businesses can take their security measures to the next level by implementing phone screening and security software on their phone networks. These technologies work by quickly detecting and promptly blocking recognized scam numbers, helping to lower the chances of employees falling victim to fraudulent calls.

One of the leading solutions is Robokiller Enterprise, which utilizes the power of AI by identifying and filtering out suspected scam calls in as fast as .01 seconds. Using information pulled from millions of subscribers, Robokiller Enterprise quickly integrates into your network and provides real-time protection around the clock.

Supporting scam reporting and collaboration

Businesses can close the loop in the fight against vision by reporting suspicious calls and scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

By promptly sharing information about detected vishing attempts, businesses contribute to the creation of a robust database that helps track evolving tactics and patterns used by scammers. This collaborative effort not only aids in swiftly identifying new threats, but also enables the FTC to develop targeted countermeasures—ultimately enhancing the overall effectiveness of vishing prevention through cross-industry collaboration.

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Experience next level vishing attack prevention

In the wake of a vishing attack, the signs can seem all too obvious—the pressure, the sense of urgency, and the unusual nature of the request.

However, when your employees are busy juggling multiple tasks, it can be easy for them to overlook these queues and lean into their desire to help. That’s why regular training paired with the power of advanced, AI-driven scam call prevention via a platform like Robokiller Enterprise can be the difference between that one dangerous phone call making it through to your employees or not.

Want to learn more about the rise of scam attacks on today’s businesses and what your team can do to prevent them? Then take a moment to check out our related resource, Phone spam on carrier networks in 2022, an eBook available now: Download the Phone Spam eBook

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