Vinton County National Bank in Ohio is warning its customers of a vishing scam presently being done in Ohio although everyone, regardless of where you live should be aware that this type of scam is also turning up throughout the country. Vishing is a combination of the word “voice” and the word “phishing” and it refers to phishing scams done over the phone. In this particular instance, people are receiving telephone calls purportedly from their bank telling them that there has been a security problem with their debit card and their account has been frozen. They are then directed to a phony security department that persuades the intended victim to provide personal information about their bank account in an effort to resolve the problem. Unfortunately, if the person called falls for the scam and provides personal information, he or she ends up becoming a victim of identity theft.
Although in the case of the Ohio vishing calls, Caller ID indicates that the calls have not originated with the bank, more sophisticated scammers are able to trick Caller ID into indicating that the call indeed is coming from your bank through a technique called “spoofing” so you cannot trust your Caller ID to screen legitimate calls from those scammers. No bank will ever ask for your personal information by phone, email or text message so the easy way to avoid becoming a victim of vishing is to just refrain from ever giving personal information to someone who contacts you by phone, email or text message requesting personal information. If you think that the communication might be legitimate, merely hang up and contact the bank at a telephone number you know is accurate.