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Phishing, Vishing & Smishing – Tips To Protect Yourself

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Vishing and Phishing are two tools that nefarious individuals or businesses use. They use these tools to extract information from others for financial gain.

Phishing applies to fraudulent activities using electronic communications such as email. Vishing uses voice communications such as your landline or mobile. There is also another term/tool known as smishing. Smishing uses text messages pretending to be a legitimate company and asks for payment details or re-confirmation of payment details. 

What is Vishing, Phishing & Smishing.

Any website, online service, phone call or text message that poses as a company or brand you recognise is considered to be a scammer.

All contacts that are designed to convince you to freely give your personal details, money, or to download a file that infects your device.

The one key part of these three terms is that they are all a play on the word ‘fishing’. Fraudsters are basically fishing for a bite. If you give them any information then you have the hook fully embedded in your mouth.

How To Prevent it

Never reply!

Most spam texts will ask you to text STOP to prevent future messages. Do not fall for it: your reply confirms that your number is a live one. The scammers can then add your details to the database in order to be sold on to other marketers. So, text STOP to receive more SPAM.

All of these spam texts can be forwarded to your mobile provider on 7726.

Here in the UK, it is illegal for marketers to make unsolicited sales calls to numbers registered with the Telephone Preference Service. Registration is also free; we tried it ourselves here at Gadgethelpline – visit TPS Online or call 0845 070 0707

Modes of operation

Scammers will usually suggest to their target that they could be owed money; repayment, PPI or court settlement. These would be hard to tell from legitimate organisation calls apart from one major factor. The scammer will ask for a minor payment up front in order for the client to receive the funds. No legitimate business would do this so bear that in mind.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has explained the criminals Modus Operandi:

The bogus callers often ask for personal financial information such as bank account details, and consumers are often asked to use electronic money transfer services such as UKash vouchers or Paysafecard to provide an upfront payment. Often the justification for payments is that money is needed to pay for a courier service to deliver a cheque, or to insure a sum of money being sent. The scam often claims the member of the public is due the money after a formal court settlement – perhaps relating to bank charges, mis-sold PPI or an accident claim. The MoJ never directly offers compensation payments in this way, and consumers should be particularly on their guard if they have not already made such a claim.

How to report it

Report it online or call 0300 123 2040.

For more information and tips, check out the Gadgethelpline.