Vishing Attacks Continue to Work for Criminals

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Criminals are increasing the use of vishing to gather information on victims and to misappropriate victim’s assets. Vishing is similar to phishing but it is done over the phone rather than through email. The criminals claim to be from government entities, like the IRS, Courts, or Social Security Administration, and assert the victims could lose benefits or even be arrested if they do not make payments or supply the required information. They will also claim to be from insurance companies and other businesses in order to con the victims into trusting them. One vishing call even claims to be the police who need to arrange a convenient time to come by and arrest them for past due tickets or fines.

It is easy for criminals to hide the origin of these calls. There are even apps for mobile phones that will allow them to spoof a phone number. SpoofCard is one example where you can go to spoof a phone number. There are also apps that will allow you to disguise your voice or to get a computer generated voice to read a written script.

Criminals will also claim you won a prize and they need your personal information to withhold taxes per IRS requirements.

Here is an example of a vishing call from the Mega Millions Jackpot

Yes this is _______, calling you from the Mega Millions limited. My reason to call your residence today is to let you know that you are a lucky recipient of 5.5 Million dollars and also a brand new 2015 Mercedes Benz. For further information, you need to contact the claims department at 1-876-354-53 zero-zero. That is 187635453 zero zero. As soon as you receive this message, I need you to give us a call. G-d bless you now and have a nice day.

Here is an example of a vishing call from the IRS

Hello. This call is officially a final notice from the IRS, Internal Revenue Service. The reason of this call is to inform you that IRS is filing lawsuit against you. To get more information about this case file, please call immediately on our department number 202-492-8816.
I repeat 202-492-8816.
Thank you.

Here is one that claims to be from law enforcement

Once again expired after that you will be taken into custody by local cops as there are four serious allegations pressed on your name at this moment. We would request you to get back to us so that we can discuss about this case before taking legal action against you. The number to reach us is 404-278-5786, I repeat 407-278-5786. Thank You

Everyone should be suspect any incoming phone call they receive. Never assume the person calling is who they claim to be. If you do not recognize the voice you should get their name and say you will call them back. Don’t call back on any number they give you but instead get the number from the organization’s website, your statements or correspondence, or another trusted. If they tell you they can’t get incoming calls you should assume it is a fraud. Vishers go after individuals and businesses so nobody is safe from this type of fraud.

Dr. Robert Minniti

Dr. Robert Minniti, CPA, CFE, CVA, CFF, MAFF, Cr.FA, CGMA, DBA, PI. is a Certified Public Accountant who offers Forensic accounting services. He is a regular speaker for small business organizations, professional organizations and educational institutions. He currently teaches graduate level classes in Accounting, Audit, Fraud Examination, Forensic Accounting and Professional Ethics.

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