Vishing: know who you’re talking to


Phone scams are being used increasingly by criminals to deceive businesses into revealing company financial information or to encourage the transfer of funds into a bank account held by the criminal. This type of fraud is known as ‘Vishing’.

Almost a quarter of the general UK population has received a cold call requesting personal or financial information, putting them at risk of becoming a victim of Vishing.

On a commercial level, methods of Vishing are very sophisticated. Posing as a company supplier, a police officer, or a member of staff from a bank or building society, criminals will make an attempt either to obtain your company bank account details or will ask for bank payee details to be altered so that regular payments normally transferred to a genuine supplier account are instead made into a fraudulent account.

A variation of the fraud involves the criminal posing as a senior bank official or police officer investigating internal fraud at your company bank. They will attempt to persuade a member of staff to that in order to protect your company’s fund, all money must be transferred to a ‘secure’ account. The member of staff will then be talked through an online transfer or be encouraged to contact their local branch to move the funds. They are advised not to give the bank a reason for the transfer in case the teller is involved in the internal fraud.

A further variation involves your company receiving a call from your ‘bank’ to validate a payment. The caller then obtains details of real payments made, including sort codes, account numbers and monetary amounts. Armed with this information, the caller telephones again later that day advising that these payments have stalled and need to be re-entered online to another account, with details supplied by the caller.

For more information download the Phone Scams Leaflet and Poster.