Are you getting unfamiliar voicemails lately?
According to Paul Ducklin at Naked Security, voicemail scams are hackers new target. These socially engineered voicemail phishing (a form of “vishing”), where scammers release automated phone calls en masse and leave pre-recorded messages when the calls go to voicemail. Like Nigerian prince email scams, this method lets scammers get rid of the people who are quick enough to recognize the scam as a fraud.
“The theory behind recognizing and reacting to voicemail prompts is obvious: many people understandably refuse to answer calls from numbers they don’t know, and program them to go through to voicemail automatically,” Ducklin explains. “By leaving automated messages in the same way that many legitimate companies do, such as taxi-booking firms, the criminals avoid having to get involved personally at the start. This not only saves the crooks time, but also – by asking you to make a voicemail choice such as pressing ‘1’ or staying on the line – pre-selects those people who haven’t figured out right away that it’s a scam.”
The good news is that most of these scams are relatively easy to recognize once you know what they look like. Ducklin advises how to avoid falling victim for the scams:
“Don’t try. Don’t buy. Don’t reply. Memorize this easily-remembered saying that the Australian cybersecurity industry came up with many years ago. It’s a neat way of reminding yourself how to deal with spammers and online charlatans.
“Don’t let yourself get sucked or seduced into talking to the scammers at all. We advise against what’s called ‘scambaiting’ – the pastime of deliberately leading scammers on, especially over the phone, in the hope that it might be amusing to see who’s at the other end. You’re talking to a crook, so the best thing that can happen to you is nothing.
“Contact companies you know using information you already have. If you are worried about a fraudulent transaction, login to your account yourself, or call the company’s helpline yourself.
“Never rely on information provided inside an email, or read out to you in a call. Don’t return a call to a number given by the caller. If it’s a scammer, you will not only end up talking to them, but also confirm any guesses (e.g. ‘you applied for a loan’ or ‘it’s about your Amazon account’) that the scammer made in the initial contact.”
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Source: Naked Security
Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/closeup-portrait-of-young-lady-talking-on-mobile-phone-6386/