Vishing explained: How voice phishing attacks scam victims
What is vishing?
Vishing is a form of attack that attempts to trick victims into giving up sensitive personal information over the phone. While that makes it sound like an old-fashioned scam, vishing attacks have high-tech elements: they involve automated voice simulation technology, for instance, or the scammer may use personal information about the victim harvested from earlier cyberattacks to put them at ease.
No matter what technology is used, the setup for the attack follows a familiar social engineering script: An attacker creates a scenario to prey on human emotions, commonly greed or fear, and convinces the victim to disclose sensitive information, like credit card numbers or passwords. In that sense, vishing techniques mirror the phishing scams that have been around since the 1990s. But vishing calls exploit the fact that we’re more likely to trust a human voice — and may target the elderly and technophobic who are naive and have no experience with these types of scams.