Chuck Leaver – Vishing Scams Are Making The World A More Dangerous Place

Written By David Shefter And Presented By Ziften CEO Chuck Leaver


I was enjoying television in August, 2015 and I had a call from a 347 location code phone number. I thought that it was an organization colleague of mine who resides in the external districts, so I answer the call.

The call was a complete surprise, “Roy Callahan from the NYC Police Department” threatens me with a warrant for my arrest within minutes, and mentions that I need to turn myself into the regional police department. So, I spoke with my buddy Josh Linder. He states that it’s rampant in the area where he lives and likewise happened to him, however they threatened him if he didn’t comply by purchasing a $9000 Green Dot pre-paid card.

If You Believe This Sounds Embellished …

This takes place thousands of times every day. Law enforcement agencies (LEA’s) ranging from local towns to the FBI, and everything in between are under immense pressure. They cannot compete – poor actors are quick, wise, and ahead of the curve.

These wrongdoers also know how budget, skill and resource constrained the LEA’s are. The regional ones are best at capturing thieves and pulling over speeding vehicles, not tracking terrorists to their origin across federal or state borders. With little coordination or interest and a lack of tools, over 99% of these frauds go unsettled.

How Did They Find Me?

First, social networking has actually developed a treasure trove of info. People entrust their name, address, telephone number, work history, educational background, and social circles to the public domain. This is where the danger lies, not the much promoted hacks at federal government agencies, financial institutions, healthcare organizations and retailers.

However, the big exposures at retailers like Home Depot, Target and Michael’s in addition to the more recent hacks at the United States Office of Personal Management (OPM), United Airlines and Anthem should be of incredible concern. This information permits wrongdoers the capability to triangulate data, and develop a rich persona of individuals like you and me.

Putting this into context, 10s of millions of records were exposed, which could be used to go far beyond extortion payments, and move towards the exploit physical susceptibilities in military workers, executives or even regular people.

How Quickly Will I Be Exposed?

In accordance with a 2014 FBI rip-off alert, victims reported having money illegally withdrawn from their accounts within 10 minutes of receiving a vishing call, and another of having hundreds or thousands of deceptive withdrawals in the days following.

What Can I Do About It?

As an individual, it is best to be watchful and use good sense. Regardless of what a “vishing” caller ID says, the U.S. IRS will not require cash or account numbers. Do not fall victim to Vishing’s wicked cousin Phishing and click links in e-mails which could take you to a malware website – spend an extra two seconds verifying that the e-mail is actually who it is from, not simply a familiar name.

Second, it’s sensible to protect your social profiles on the Internet. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the trove of other tools have probably already exposed you. Perform a simple Google search, then move to tidy up the public aspects of your online persona.

Third, imitate an enterprise to secure your workers as if they were your relatives. Large companies have invested heavily in antivirus, drive encryption, email security, and next generation firewalls. None of this matters – phishing and vishing scams go right around these. You need training, continuous education, watchfulness, and innovation which is smarter. An essential method to this is executing continuous endpoint visibility on your devices. At Ziften, our software plugs security gaps to form a more resistant wall.

The battle for cyber security protection is consuming your resources, from your people to your budget plan. Hazards are faster, more intelligent, and more focused than ever before, and working their way around standard prevention solutions and getting straight to the point; your endpoints. Once breached you have less than an hour before the cyber attack finds additional victims within your company. Time is of the essence, and because we can’t create more of that, we focus on taking full advantage of constant intelligence so your group can make the right choice, immediately.

In Conclusion

Today, people are so concentrated on deceptive credit card charges, and organizations are locking down endpoints at a record rate.

More has to be done. The bad guys are much faster, smarter, more enabled – and outside the bounds of the authorities. While news will continue to come concerning the success of capturing large-scale fraudsters and untouchable foreign nationals in China and Russia, there will be countless small-scale exploits daily.

At Ziften, we have one mission, to make endpoint security quick and easy for the end user to not only deploy, but manage and drive day-to-day value. By integrating real-time user, device, and habits monitoring with effective analytics and reporting, Ziften instantly empowers any company to view, check, and respond to the very latest attacks.

Many thanks to Josh Linder for his discussions on this topic.


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