There is a new scam out there that many Canadians have fallen victim to. Many scammers will target recent immigrants to Canada as they are less likely to identify a scam as they are exposed to so many new things every day. For this reason, it is very important to stay on your guard. Everyone has heard of phishing scams that try to get your personal information via email. Usually, the scammers will masquerade as a financial institution, the police, or immigration officials asking for personal details. But, have you ever heard of vishing?
Vishing: what does that even mean?
Vishing can happen in only a few seconds over the phone. You can reveal a lot of personal information to a scammer, even without meaning to. The name “vishing” comes from a blend of the word ‘voice’ with ‘phishing,’ This is a telephone scam to tricks people into revealing critical financial or personal information that can be used for identity theft. It is vitally important that you are aware of these scams and actively protect yourself at all times. It can be easy to give out information over the phone when you’re distracted.
How it works
You receive a call from a scammer, it will typically be an obviously computer generated voice or recording. This voice will then tell you any number of lies to get you to volunteer information or to call them back. They may state that your identity has been stolen, that you need to pay money for your immigration to remain valid or even something as simple as an approval for a credit card. These vishing scams are carefully targeted. As a newcomer, you will be expecting calls from your bank as you set up an account, so it is important to verify who you’re speaking with.
What to do if you suspect vishing?
You need to remain calm and not provide any personal information. If you suspect that the call is a vishing attempt, simply hang up. You should never call the number they say. If they claim to be from a financial institution or the government, look online for their official website and call the number you find on the site to confirm.
The key thing to remember is that you need to do your research on any company or business that you are going to provide your personal information to. The internet is your friend here, you can google the phone number and see if anyone else has had negative experiences with calls from this number. The same can be said for any type of scam. Never let yourself be pressured into anything without doing this research. It only takes a moment to do your due diligence. So, make sure that you do not rush into giving your name, date of birth, or anything else to someone without first know exactly who you’re dealing with.