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Watch For Scams Newsletter, Issue #0016 - Vishing Attacks
October 20, 2009

Vishing Attacks

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Vishing Attacks

Many people have received an email, text message, or telephone call, supposedly from their credit card/debit card company directing them to contact a telephone number to re-activate their card due to a security issue.

This type of scam is known as "vishing".

Vishing operates like phishing by persuading you to divulge your personal information, claiming your account was suspended, deactivated, or terminated.

You are directed to contact your bank using a telephone number provided in the email or by an automated recording. When you call the number, you are greeted with the "Welcome to the bank of " and then requested to enter your card number in order to resolve a pending security issue. For authenticity, some fraudulent emails even claim the bank would never contact customers to obtain their personal information by any means, including email, mail, or instant messenger. These emails further warn you not to provide sensitive information when requested in an email and not to click on embedded links, claiming they could contain "malicious software aimed at capturing login credentials."

However, beware of all spam emails as they may actually contain malicious code which can harm your computer. Do not open any unsolicited email and do not click on any links provided.

A new version recently reported involves the sending of text messages to cell phones claiming your on-line bank account has expired. The message instructs you to renew your on-line bank account by using the link provided. Because the scammers are constantly developing new approaches and strategies, it is impossible to include every scenario. Therefore, be cognizant and protect your personal information and beware of emails, telephone calls, or text messages requesting your personal information.

If you have a question concerning your account or credit/debit card, you should contact your bank using a telephone number obtained independently, such as from your statement, a telephone book, or other independent means.

If you are a victim of an online scheme, please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at

Remember - always watch for scams!


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