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 Tuesday, July 11, 2006

In a new scam, called vishing, identity thieves use bogus phone numbers instead of Web sites, reports PC World in a recent article featuring phishing scams on VoIP phones.

< show to starting increasingly is users, telephone or internet trick numbers Protocol) Internet over (voice VoIP easy-to-obtain using thieves with scam, theft identity of kind new A>"Related to phishing scams, the new scheme uses cheaply obtained VoIP numbers as bogus credit card or financial services telephone numbers", the article continues.  "With Internet users being warned about clicking on hyperlinks in unsolicited e-mail, the new scam includes a phone number instead". "It's a natural elevation of the art to move it to the telephone. People are getting nervous about clicking on links", the article states.

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The articles gives examples of how these new scams take place: "In one vishing case, scammers targeted PayPal users by including a telephone number in a spam e-mail. In the other case, the criminals configured an automatic telephone dialer to dial phone numbers, and when the phone was answered, played an automated recording saying their credit card has had fraudulent activity. The recording asked the telephone customer to call a number with a spoofed caller ID related to the credit card issuer. Once users call, they are asked for personal account information."

VoIP numbers are easy to obtain anonymously, but an industry expert interviewed for the story did not fault VoIP providers for vishing scams. "A larger problem is the ease of obtaining credit online or over the telephone. Consumers are comfortable with obtaining credit online or by dialing automated telephone services to get credit, but if credit-granting businesses required physical contact, phishing and vishing scams would be almost eliminated. In today's environment, it's absurd," the industry stated.

Read the full article on the PC World news website.