VoIP offers incredibly robust, versatile and cost-effective communication, but it’s not impervious to online hackers and attacks. It pays to be mindful of the tactics scammers employ and the ways in which to protect yourself from VoIP vishing.
VoIP vishing and scams
As with any exchange over the Internet, VoIP is potentially vulnerable to online attacks and vishing. Because a VoIP number can be purchased relatively cheaply, a scammer can obtain a number for any area code regardless as to their geographic locale.
Scammers are then able pose as a genuine company or agency, whether that be a bank, government or other institution, and request the recipient of the call to provide financial or personal details under the guise of a seemingly authentic reason for them needing to do so. Although such scams have been prevalent through PSTN telephone numbers for some time, VoIP effectively provides attackers with the means of generating a caller ID that looks legitimate while the source is incredibly difficult to trace, especially as the number does not necessarily correlate to the associated area code.
Be aware and vigilant
In protecting yourself against vishing, it’s important to be aware of the techniques scammers use and to employ a degree of vigilance and scepticism when it comes to caller ID and when dealing with unknown emails. If you’re unsure, confirm the phone number through an independent online search or through the company’s official website. Many hackers may also block their numbers so that an unknown number shows on the caller ID, making the call all the more difficult to trace. Always be mindful before answering calls from unknown numbers.
Change your passwords
A hosted scam involves the attacker utilising weaknesses in security and passwords to highjack the host provider’s network. Another method is a whitelist scam, wherein attackers breach your account and add their own IP to your whitelist, allowing them to make calls that are chargeable to you. You should, therefore, prioritise your online security and it’s recommended that you regularly change passwords on your devices and accounts. Use strong passwords with a combination of character types where possible.
Preserving your wholesale VoIP termination rates
Specialist providers such as IDT ensure the best possible termination rates. However, without adequate security in place, the potential losses associated with fraud could offset some of the financial benefits. The key is to be vigilant and aware in order to protect yourself.
Don’t panic if you’re caught off guard. Be assertive if you wish to ask for confirmation of the caller’s credentials and authenticity as you have every right to do so. You can always hang up on a call if you feel pressured, or ask to call them back while you verify their details. Never give out personal or financial information, including any log-in credentials or passwords. Not all callers have legitimate, honest intentions when contacting you, so it pays to be cautious.