An increasing numbers of businesses are being targeted by criminals seeking to obtain personal and financial information over the phone that can be used to conduct a fraud.
The fraudster will often ask to confirm the victim’s details, prompting the victim to disclose information such as credit/debit card details (including PIN), bank account details or personal credentials such as their name, date of birth or address.
Fraudsters are then inducing the victim to make an electronic transfer in order to protect their assets from ‘fraud’. The funds are then transferred to an account which is accessible to the fraudster.
Vishing is a variation on ‘phishing’ whereby fraudsters, claiming to a trusted source, use spoof websites, emails and questionnaires to elicit sensitive information.
Be wary of unsolicited approaches by phone and always take independent steps to check a caller’s details. Never disclose your company’s full PIN, full password, authentication codes or full security details when contacted by phone. Always independently confirm change of bank account requests with your supplier using the contact details you have on file before instructing your bank.
Criminals are able to obtain basic information about your business so do not assume a caller is genuine because they have details about you or your company (i.e. name, address, account details) or because they claim to represent a current supplier.
Be aware that fraudsters may suggest you hang up the phone and call back on a trusted number when in fact they then keep your phone line open by not putting down the receiver at their end. It takes two people to terminate a call. If in doubt, use a different phone line to return the call or call someone you trust for advice before returning the phone call.
Your bank or the police will never:
Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them.
Ask you to transfer money to another account.
Visit your business address to collect cash, payment card or cheque book.
Ask you to buy goods using you card and hand them over for safekeeping.
If you are unsure about providing the information your caller has requested, visit your bank’s website to check their policy on what information they will and won’t ask for.
If you are suspicious, don’t be afraid to terminate the call, say no to requests for information or ask for advice from a colleague you trust.