First things first, in order to avoid vishing scams, we need to know what they are. “Vishing” means “voice phishing.” Phishing, if you are not familiar, is a form of scam played out over email. So, all in all, “vishing” is a voice scam. These scams are played out over the phone, so vishing scams are commonly known as phone fraud or phone scams.
A vishing scam is when a fraudster attempts to obtain your personal or financial information through a phone call or a text message (this is also known as SMS phishing or “smishing”). The scammer will pretend to be a trusted organization, such as Patriot Federal Credit Union, to make you feel safe giving them your personal information. They will usually mention some type of problem and deadline to incite a sense of urgency and fear.
Patriot will never call you and ask for personal or financial information! If you receive a call from someone posing as Patriot and asking for your information, DO NOT COMPLY!
How to Recognize Phone Scams
With phone scams, there are always some red flags to look out for:
- Caller asks for your personal information. Remember, no reputable business or organization, nor the government, will ever ask for personal information through email or incoming phone call.
- The caller will express a sense of urgency to scare you into providing them with what they are asking for. For example, they may say, “You need to send me your information now or you could lose access to your funds.”
- The call will be unexpected
Common scams include:
- Asking for you to update your information because systems have changed
- Your account has been compromised so your information needs updated
- Your social security number has been involved in a crime, we need you to verify it was not you
- Your PIN number needs reset
Tips for Protecting Your Information
- Never provide any type of personal information through an incoming phone call or an unexpected email. No reputable business or organization, nor the government, will ever ask for personal information through email or incoming phone call.
- Change your online passwords often and never use the same one on multiple sites.
- If you receive a phone call claiming to be from a trusted organization. Hang up and call the organization yourself to make sure it is a valid call.
- Do not click on unexpected links in emails or text messages. Type the website you want to visit into the search bar and go to the website that way.
- Be sure to keep anti-virus software up to date on all of your devices, including smart home devices.
- Review the transaction history on your accounts at least once a month.
- Review your credit score often. You can use websites like Credit Karma or visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com/ to get a free credit report. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can get free credit reports weekly.
- Set up alerts for activity on your social security number.
To learn more about fraud and scams, visit our Fraud & Scam Alerts page, our Fraud & Security blog category, or the Federal Trade Commission website. If you ever have questions about whether something is a scam, STOP and think before proceeding! If you think you have been scammed, call our contact center at 888-777-9982 and we will help you secure your Patriot accounts.