In recent years we are witnessing numerous phone scams. One of the most common and the one that alerts even the Police is to return missed calls to mobiles from Nigeria, Ghana or Albania. Although if there is a habitual lately it is that of those who pose as operators and that they even claim to be backed by the OCU, something that the organization categorically denies.
Now, what exactly are these and other phone scams impersonating operators? In this post we tell you how is your modus operandi and the most effective way to avoid falling for these scams.
One of many scams labeled ‘Vishing’
Many terms have recently been created to describe mobile phone scams. phishing It is the one used as a general rule to qualify those in which fraudsters impersonate an identity. And then we already find subcategories like smishing for SMS scams or precisely the Vishing for rate phone call scams.
Thus, the concept of Vishing can be related to all that scam in which the scammers attempt to take personal data or money from the victims through one or several phone calls. And, as a general rule, usurping another person, company or public entity in these calls.
The ‘Vishing’ to telephone operators, one of the most recurrent
As we mentioned at the beginning, telephone operators are often used to try deceive the user into believing that they are going to raise their rates. Far from being really the companies that carry out these actions, they are also victims, since they are usurping their identity.
To do this, the scammers call the victim pretending to be their phone company and alerting you of an alleged price increase in your rate which is occasionally 15 to 20 euros per month in increase. Obviously, this generates a feeling of anger in the victim.
Taking advantage of that sensitivity of the victim and only a few minutes after the first call, the scammers call the victim again. In that second call they pretend to be another operator and they offer you much cheaper conditions compared to what your current rate would look like after the increase.
Obviously, neither the operator is going to raise the current rate to the victim, nor is that other operator real. Sometimes they even claim to be a new operator backed by the OCU to gain reliability. The end of everything is obtain bank and/or payment details of the victim in order to steal your money. Being in a certain way in a consented way, it does not require them to insert malware or anything similar in the mobile. But obviously, it is a completely illegal deception technique and it is recommended to report it.
Avoiding these scams is easier than you think
Be more or less agile in detecting this type of scam, there are a series of tips to detect them quickly and avoid being scammed. In the case of telephone companies, we start with the premise that your operator will never call you to raise the price, since they use other communication channels for these notices, for example, leaving it in writing on the last bill prior to the increase. Although there is more:
- Be the one who asks your alleged operator for data. In other words, when your operator supposedly calls you, make a change of roles and be the one who asks for your complete data for security reasons. If it really is them, they have access to your data and will be able to verify it.
- Never give your data in the call without making sure that it is a real call. In line with the above, there is no need for you to offer the data if your operator or any company of which you are a client calls you.
- Don’t offer any other personal details either. related to the price you are currently paying for the telephone service or any other.
- Tell them that “operators never call to raise the price”, as we mentioned earlier. We have tried to say this when receiving calls of this type and instantly the scammers have hung up.
- don’t return the calls if you don’t know the number. The scam could precisely come from there and it could be a special rate number. If they really have something to tell you, they will call you back or use other means to inform you.
- Do not enter untrustworthy websites no matter how much in the call they quote you a URL as a verification method or to enter your personal data there. Although receiving messages in SMS scams is usually more common, some phone scams also include the dictation of a URL that, according to them, belongs to the company they are usurping.
- Contact the real company before offering any data or jump to conclusions. And always do it through trusted communication channels and that you know are yours. Tell them what they told you on that phone call and, if it was them, they can confirm it for you. If it wasn’t them, you can report it and know for sure that you shouldn’t trust what they told you.
Knowing this, and no matter how urgent the call received may seem or tempting the offer, it is advisable always be suspicious. In case it was a real call, you do not have to worry if you finally contact the company, since you will continue to have access to the offer and information that they were giving you.