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Vishing Scams could Target US Consumers, Warns IC3

The IC3 i.e. the Internet Crime Complaint Center of U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), on January 17, 2008, warned that new "vishing" attacks are spreading in large numbers, targeting computer users. The attack involves scam e-mails to victims with a text message claiming that a security fault had arisen for which the recipient needs to contact his bank to get his debit or credit card reactivated.

The vishing scammers who are using Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP technology along with open-source call center program have set up inexpensive but fake call centers, opening opportunities for the latest kind of scam.

Users who call the number provided in the e-mail are requested for the same kind of information that phishers try to garner. Ironically, the vishing e-mails also try to pose to recipients as being legitimate by saying that the financial institution referred would never ask consumers' private financial data over IM (Instant Messaging) or e-mail.

These fake e-mails also caution recipients against providing confidential and sensitive information that may be requested over e-mail and about resisting clicking embedded links, warning that they could have malware designed to seize login credentials.

According to security professionals at IC3, vishing could be far more effective in comparison to conventional phishing techniques that direct potential victims to fraudulent websites - as the VoIP-based attacks have not received similar wide publicity. The vishing-related websites host various Trojans, viruses and other malware, which capture users' personal information.

Recently, during the second week of January 2008, IC3 was reported of fake e-mails pretending to be legitimate because they used photos of the director of FBI, the agency's letterhead, banners, and/or seals.

Hence, FBI warns users about lottery scams on the Internet and schemes that extort money using FBI styling and imagery, including logos, banners, and photos of Robert S. Mueller, Director of FBI, to make their messages appear legitimate.

The FBI is also advising people not to give out sensitive information relating to debit or credit cards, or bank accounts over normal looking e-mails or spam mails. If such e-mails arrive, users should instead contact the concerned financial institution directly.

Related article: Vishing Used to Con Users by Phishers

» SPAMfighter News - 01-02-2008

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