SCOTS are being urged to apply caution when sharing information online as well as being suspicious of calls from banks following a rise in the number of fraudulent calls.
Known as a vishing scam, attackers call a victim’s phone pretending to be from a legitimate source in the hope of gaining sensitive, personal information or carrying out a fraudulent bank transaction.
In an attempt to be as convincing as possible, scammers are often using easy to find information to devastating effect, masquerading as the recipient’s bank and reporting “suspicious” activity.
The warning, from cyber security advisers at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC), follows an apparent rise in the number of people being caught out by the fake calls.
Gerry Grant, Chief Ethical Hacker with the SBRC, said scammers will usually conduct background research before contacting a victim and urges the public to be careful with what information is available.
He said: “We leak information online at an alarming rate and so the attacker just needs to know where to look to find out who you bank with and answers to your security questions.
“Once enough detail has been gathered, either through just looking online or through other techniques, the attack can begin.
“These scammers are often very determined, so if someone pretending to be from your bank calls and you’re not expecting it you should always be suspicious no matter how genuine it may sound.
“When you do get a call like this you should never continue the call and instead insist that you will call them back.”
A common method will see the caller ask to carry out a few procedures including a “ghost” transaction to secure the account. Unfortunately, this is not a “ghost” transaction but a real transaction and the result is a loss of cash for the victim.
Tips for spotting and averting a vishing scam:
- Be suspicious and say you will call them back and hang up
- Don’t use a number they provide
- Immediately call your bank with a number provided on its website
- Ask your bank if they called regarding suspicious activity
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