Hawaii's BBB and Big Island police have received reports of a phone scam by a person(s) who fraudulently claims to be an AT&T representative, and asks for credit or debit card card numbers for an immediate payment. In one instance, the scammer claimed to be calling for payment because the check the victim had provided was unsigned.
Where phishing scams are generally associated with e-mail messages, vishing uses voice communications to do the same thing—to trick victims into divulging personal information by masquerading as a trusted source.
Some "vishers" use automated dialing programs to cold call victims. The caller ID device may list a legitimate-looking local phone number, to inspire trust from the recipient. A prerecorded message or a live "employee" claims the victim's account has been compromised or needs updating or verification.
BBB offers consumers the following tips to protect against these types of scams:
- Be wary of e-mails, text messages or phone calls that request personal information.
- Don’t give your personal information to anyone who contacts you. Give those details only when you initiate the contact.
- If you receive a vishing phone call, simply hang up. If you think the call is legitimate, call back using the business’ published number.
If you or someone you know is a victim of a phishing or vishing scam, report it to Hawaii's BBB and your local police.
For more information on how to avoid scams and protect your identity, visit http://hawaii.bbb.org/bbb-news/?id_theft.