Vishing: Spot the red flags and protect your business

Tech Blog
IT Support
April 4, 2023
 dont fall victim to vishing attacks, spot vishing calls

• Vishing is a criminal attempt to gain confidential information like bank account details over the phone.

• Criminals can call from blocked, “spoofed,” or private phone numbers, posing as an employee or an organisation.

• Sensitive information should not be given out unless you are certain the caller is legitimate.

• Verify a caller's phone number with the official website or internal directory of your organisation.

• Beware of calls requesting personal information and be cautious when calling unfamiliar numbers.

Vishing definition

Vishing, sometimes known as voice phishing, is a type of cyber attack where criminals use social engineering techniques to gain confidential information from businesses over the phone.

Vishing attacks involve calling from blocked, “spoofed,” or private numbers with the caller posing as an employee or organisation and requesting 'urgent' sensitive information.

Remember, Stop, Look, and Think. Don't be fooled.

During Vishing attacks criminals use cleverly disguised phone calls to attempt to gain access to people's bank account details or other sensitive information, are becoming ever more common.

It is important for anyone who regularly handles such data to be aware of vishing tactics and be able to spot them. This includes being on the lookout for calls from familiar phone numbers which may have been spoofed, as well as identifying when a caller is pretending to be an employee or organisation.

It's a good idea to keep your guard up and fully verify any requests before offering sensitive data no matter how official the phone call may appear.

As a business manager, it's important to be aware of these scams and take steps to protect your company in order to prevent vishing attacks. Let’s dive into the details.

How does vishing work?

Essentially, vishing is a type of social engineering attack where hackers use phone calls to try and obtain confidential information about you and your bank account details.

If the hacker expects a high  potential payout the vishing attack could be part of a wider more sophisticated social engineering campaign.

They will have done their research and be able to sound convincing - for example, making reference to personal or financial information about you that you would assume a hacker would not take the time to learn such as your co workers names and job titles and personal life details- taken from their social media profiles.

vishing attack tactics used by cyber criminals

They will also be sure to sound, professional, conversational and even charming.

The person conducting the vishing attack may also provide an urgent call-to-action or offer a reward if you answer their questions, both of which should set alarm bells ringing and indicate that the conversation is not legitimate.

Vishing attacks are essentially the voice equivalent of email phishing attacks with many of the same hallmarks and all with the intent of the end user divulging sensitive information. Much like phishing, creating a sense of authority, urgency and panic are typical cyber criminals' tactics.

Some common vishing examples are listed below.

Vishing attack example 1

A caller claiming to be from a government agency is threatening legal action if the person they are calling does not immediately provide personal information or make a payment for an alleged hefty overdue tax bill. The caller may also warn of penalties or other consequences for failing to comply with their demands.

vishing attack example from government agency

In reality a government agency must go through due process before taking legal action.

It is never safe to give out your bank account details in response to a call from someone claiming to be a government agency and threatening you with legal action if you do not pay them an overdue tax payment. These scammers are looking for people who may panic and agree to their demands—so don’t be fooled! Instead, hang up and report any suspicious calls immediately.

Vishing attack example 2

A scammer calls pretending to be from the local electric company and tells the person on the line that their electricity will be cut off immediately unless they make an emergency payment. The scammer threatens legal action or other consequences if the person does not comply right away.

In reality you would  never receive such a call from your utility provider.

It is crucial to never give out confidential information over the phone – even if the caller seems to know a lot about you already, they could still be up to no good.

vishing attack example from utility company

How to identify vishing scams

The first step in defending yourself against vishing scams is recognising them when they occur.

Here are a few key signs that you may be dealing with a vishing scammer:

Infographic: Vishing attack red flags avoid a vishing scam

• The caller requests personal information such as credit card numbers or other sensitive data.

• The caller pressures you for an immediate response;;

• The call is out of the blue and unexpected despite threats of legal action if immediate action is not taken;

• The caller requests payment in the form of cash or prepaid cards;

• The caller does not provide contact information for verification purposes, the call may become angry or give excuses as to why they cannot give verification;

• The number the call is coming from is blocked or private or even spoofed to appear as if from a trusted source.

If any of these characteristics of vishing start to make you feel uneasy during a call, it's important to take steps to protect yourself and your business.

Protect yourself from vishing scam phone calls

suspicious looking call to office worker

Remember the following to help protect yourself from these types of scams:

  • Never provide your personal details, financial information or work information over the phone unless you’re the one who initiated the call.
  • Scammers can spoof any number they’d like. Therefore, even if a call looks like it’s coming from a legitimate source, it could be a scam.
  • If you receive this type of call, hang up the phone immediately and notify the appropriate team in your organization.

Protecting your business from vishing attacks

office worker verifying information against caller claims

The best way for businesses to protect themselves against vishing is by educating employees about the dangers of giving out sensitive information over the phone. This applies whether it is personal details being given away of financial information and wether it is personal or business data.

Employees need to verify the caller's phone number with the official website or internal directory of your organization before providing any personal information.

Additionally, businesses should be aware of calls requesting personal information and exercise caution when calling unfamiliar phone numbers.

Get help

You can help your team stay secure by getting in touch with The One Points Cyber Security experts. Our team of experienced professionals will provide you with tailored advice to ensure your organization is as secure as possible.

Protecting yourself from vishing attacks is an essential part of any cyber security plan. Vishing threats, which are phone-based scams related to identity theft, can cause major damage if they go undetected.

We can help guide your team through the process of recognising, avoiding, and mitigating risks associated with phishing emails and vishing calls.

We focus on delivering a simple and engaging advice that everyone can follow to identify potential malicious phone calls and other threats associated with identity theft.

Call us on 01482 420150 for more information.


Vishing scams are becoming increasingly common and can easily trick unsuspecting victims into giving away confidential data. As a business owner, it's important that you remain vigilant against these types of attacks and take steps to ensure that your company's sensitive data remains safe from prying eyes.

By following the tips outlined here—such as verifying callers' identities before giving out any personal information—you can help protect your business from falling victim to vishing scams. So don't wait until it's too late —take action now!

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