Phishing Vishing what it is and how to avoid it

Phishing and Vishing, how to avoid phone and email scams

Some of the phone calls and emails received may be fraudulent and are not identified as such. Therefore, there is little care and it is necessary to find ways to prevent scams involving phone calls and emails in Portugal. Let's find out what they are and how to avoid phishing and vishing.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Preventing fraudulent calls and emails

Do not answer or return calls from unknown numbers, particularly international telephone numbers.

Contact your operator and request additional information about a specific number. If you access the Internet, you can also search for that number in your search engine, or even in some specific applications that allow know whose phone number this is.

In emails that you do not know the origin of, be careful and check more carefully who it is from.

Do not download or install any software offered via telephone, email or SMS. Do not provide any data.

Remember, it is very easy to fall for these telephone scams. Don't act on impulse.

What is phishing and telephone vishing?

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Phishing and vishing are both fraud methods via phone call or email that aim to steal personal information in Portugal, but they differ in the way they are carried out and how to avoid them:

Phishing: This is a cyber attack method that tricks victims into clicking on fraudulent links in received emails. 

The link usually takes the victim to a form that simulates a legitimate website and requests private information such as full name, login, passwords, account numbers or other private information. 

A common example is an email with the layout and logo of a banking institution or other well-known entity with a warning about card or account access blocking or offering a fantastic product or service!

Fraudulent message the email does not match the sender Phishing Vishing
Fraudulent message; the email does not match the sender; Example of Phishing

There are several signs that can help identify phishing. Among the various forms, spelling and grammatical errors, the complete email address does not have the name of the company it appears to be or the subject it has before the text “FWD” which means that the message was not addressed to you but was sent for multiple people (FWD means “forward”)

vishing: this is a variant of phishing, but it is carried out through telephone calls or voice messages (combination of phishing and voice). Criminals call and pretend to be a company, asking for data or to install it on your computer. Generally, they are convincing people who already have some type of prior and basic information about themselves.

Often, those who present themselves pretend to be the Judiciary Police in Portugal or even Europol, to carry out the fraud with the telephone call.

It is important to always be aware and verify the legitimacy of any request for personal information.

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The objective of these criminals is to use this information to access victims' bank accounts, credit cards, online services or identities, and thus steal money or commit other crimes.

The criminal calls and causes the person answering the call to press three buttons on the telephone or cell phone, for example 90#. From that moment on, all calls made by the criminal will be charged to your telephone bill.

Also, if they receive calls from unknown international numbers (numbers starting with '00' or '+' and the country code), a fraudulent scheme aimed at users of the telephone service, with the aim of getting them to return the call and thus , charge them a price that can be high.

If you receive a contact of this type, do not provide your personal data or follow the instructions received. 

Remember, both phishing and vishing criminals are very skilled and convincing at manipulating people's emotions and trust to get them to provide the desired information.

Both methods use “social engineering” techniques, based on the science of human motivation and which, in a negative sense, aim to manipulate the emotions and instincts of victims in a way that leads them to take actions that are not in their interests.

Most of these attacks use tactics such as impersonating a trusted brand, or companies that victims know, trust, and may do business with frequently or regularly.

Therefore, it is always better to be cautious and check before sharing any personal information. Record the contact number made and contact a competent authority or Judiciary Police, denouncing the situation.

Behavior you should adopt in case of suspicion

If you answer the call, interrupt the conversation and ask for the person's name, telephone number and the company they represent.

Do not leave this request no matter how much the other person says. If he asks why, say an excuse and hang up. For example, that you are not interested in talking.

If they ask for any personal information, such as address, Social Security number, PIN, bank account, etc. hang up immediately and block the phone number.

Confirm the call by calling the official telephone number of the company mentioned and check the veracity of this contact.

Help others by sharing contact information on existing platforms for this purpose and report it to the authorities. A way to avoid phishing and vishing.

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