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New scam to vatch for: vishing
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As someone who has made many believable vishing calls, he recommends just hanging up if someone who claims to be from your bank calls. Again, contact your bank using the number from your bank card and ask them about the call.

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Don't attempt to verify the call by asking for your account number. The scammer may already have it, says Paul Henry, vice president of strategic accounts for Secure Computing. Better to politely end the call. Otherwise, you could surrender vital information to con artists.

Armed with your personal financial details, scammers can do a number of things, says Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman Paul Bresson. They can commit identity theft, make purchases in your name, apply for a loan or trade your data with other scammers.

In other words, guard this information as if you were guarding the Holy Grail.

Symptoms of a scam
Even though banks and creditors do use e-mail and phone to communicate with customers, they don't employ these tricks.

It may be a scam if:

Take action
If you receive what you think is a vishing e-mail or phone call, call your bank or creditor, using the number on your card, and ask if they tried to contact you.

If you find out your bank, creditor or escrow service didn't contact you, notify them, as well as the Internet Crime Complaint Center and the Federal Trade Commission. Forward the e-mail to spam@uce.gov. Visit the FTC's identity theft Web site if you've responded to a vishing e-mail.

E-mails spoofing PayPal should get sent to spoof@paypal.com.

Report calls spoofing TDS, AT&T or other telecommunication companies to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection at (800) 422-7128.

After notifying the proper authorities, please forward vishing e-mails to Bankrate at editors@bankrate.com.

Next up: Crime-fighting dumpster diver

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Posted: July 26, 2006
 
 
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