Vishing Attack: What Is It & How to Prevent It?


Vishing attacks have become quite a menace in recent years. A report by True Caller reveals that about 68.4 million Americans have fallen victim to vishing in 2022. This is a significant increase from the 59.4 million last year. Jointly, people have lost a staggering $39.5 billion to vishers this year alone. The figure is expected to rise in the future if nothing is done. How can we address this problem then? Well, the first step is to define vishing so the public can know what it is and how to stay safe.

What is a vishing attack?

A vishing attack occurs when a business or individual calls or utilizes voice message services to contact and persuade you to offer your personal information. The attackers might pose as representatives of the government, police, bank, tax department, your employer, or even a relative in a bid to gain your trust. They will then ask you to supply them with sensitive information like government IDs and credit card numbers. The end goal is to access your financial accounts to steal your money.

Vishing vs. phishing: how do they differ?

Phishing is chiefly an email-based attack, where malicious actors attempt to deceive individuals into providing sensitive information. As such, phishing fraudsters may focus on sending numerous traps-emails to multiple targets. Usually very attractive messages that trick users to respond with sensitive data or require people to click a link with malware or one-day websites. Some phishers can even utilize attachments.

Vishing, short for ‘voice phishing,’ involves the use of voice communication, such as phone calls or voice messages, to deceive individuals. Vishing attackers often pose as trustworthy entities, such as banks or government agencies, to trick victims into disclosing their personal or financial information over the phone.

Sometimes, at first, scammers can send you numerous texts, prompting you to call them. Then you receive an automated message which robo-calls you and other potential victims. You are then hoaxed into following voice message instructions that link you to a human agent and will eventually be directed to visit a website that the visher controls or give the remote access to your computer. Therefore phishing and vishing differ in message delivery tactics. The scammers can use a mixed approach to confuse victims and.

Examples of a vishing attack

Here are some vishing attack examples:

Financial institution alerts

The swindler calls claiming they are from your bank and then tells you that your account or credit card has a problem.

Tax scams

You receive a taped message, supposedly from the IRS, notifying you of a particular issue with your tax returns.

Medicare or social security scams

Here, the fraudster pretends to be an official representative of either of these government agencies. He will call you alleging that your account has an issue, or provide a new benefits card. Whichever way, he will ask you to present him with confidential information that should not be freely shared.

Unwanted loans and investment offers

The attacker contacts you to provide sweet deals that are quite unrealistic. These can include get-rich-quick schemes or quick fixes to repay debts. Oftentimes, you will be required to act fast and pay a fee.

How to prevent vishing?

You can apply the following strategies to avoid a vishing cyber attack:

Be sure to check phone numbers at all times

Vishers are imposters, so before you give out any personal info, find out their real identity. You should be able to contact them via an official company number. If the caller tries to downplay your inquiries, it’s possibly a scam.

Don’t provide remote computer access

Anyone asking you to facilitate remote access to your computer should be a red flag. More often than not, the visher will allege that they want to eliminate malware or fix a certain issue. Don’t fall for this trap, unless the person is your colleague in the IT department.

Phone registration

If you live in the USA or the UK, you have the option of registering with the Do Not Call registry or Telephone Preference Services, respectively. This may help prevent you from getting some unsolicited sales calls. However, this approach is not perfect as some fraudsters may just ignore your request.

Duckist can help with data leaks

Duckist is a web-based solution that makes it possible for you to send confidential messages, files, and passwords in a secure way. For instance, it can help you create one-time messages that self-destruct. It also encrypts your files or messages on the front end. This ensures your data is not leaked to the public domain thus preventing unwanted parties from accessing it.


Anyone can fall victim to vishing attacks mainly because the people behind them tend to be very persuasive. They will pretend to be from your bank, the IRS, Medicare, or any other reputable institution to gain your trust. However, you can always prevent yourself from becoming a victim. Signing up with Duckist is a great place to start. The website will protect your personal data from unwanted access.