As if we didn’t have better things to worry about, now we get to wonder whether an announced security threat is really a threat. The latest case to be overblown (or simple shilled) is that of VoIP phishing. The process has been labeled “vishing,” and portends danger from scammers using voice over IP to steal credit card information.
Unfortunately, VoIP isn’t the issue – it is the naivete of the person on the other end of the line. Telemarketing has long been a staple of scammers, dialing little old ladies to separate them from their social security money over a new home awning thingamajig or water purification doohickey. VoIP is being targeted because phone numbers, which are used for forwarding calls, are a little easier to come by and slightly more anonymous. Still, a VoIP number won’t be used any longer that the land line formerly connected to a bank of phones for the old time stock pump and dump shops.
Target credit card holders with a sense of false charges isn’t the only game being played out there either. The same is being done to PayPal users, only mention of VoIP is nowhere to be found in that news.
My notion is scammers are returning to their roots. They know online threats are well publicized, and that those people willing to pick up the phone are likely less inclined to have heard about them, and more inclined to follow through on some form of disclosure. Like the little old lady buying that new fangled inflatable porta-shed, sight unseen.
End note: It wouldn’t surprise me if the telcos were cheering on these VoIP “threat” announcements either.