Voice phishing, or “vishing”, is a phishing attack conducted by phone. According to Kingston Police, vishing is a classic tactic that scammers continue to use today.
On a cyclical basis, scammers launch vishing attacks in Kingston purporting to represent various government agencies such as the Canadian Border Services Agency and Revenue Canada, according to a release from Kingston Police. Using advanced techniques, scammers are able to disguise their phone numbers to display as local numbers on caller ID.
“The call usually starts as an automated message,” Kingston Police said, “stating that your personal data has been compromised, or that you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest, and to press the 1 key to continue. If you press 1, you’re greeted by a real person who sounds polite and professional. The caller offers to help you deal with this urgent matter, as long as you give them information such as your name, address, and Social Insurance Number. Any information you provide will be delivered straight to the scammers.”
Kingston Police shared these tips to help individuals stay safe from similar scams:
- Never trust your caller ID. Scammers can spoof phone numbers to look like a familiar, local, or safe caller.
- If you did not initiate the call, do not provide personal information over the phone.
- If you’re not sure if a call is coming from a legitimate organization, hang up. Then, find the official phone number for the real organization and call them directly. Don’t call the suspicious phone number again.