What is a Vishing attack and how does it work?

Last updated December 5th, 2023 23:46

In today’s rapidly evolving digital environment, it’s important that you remain cautious and informed, especially when it comes to new forms of cyber attacks. One such attack targeting the acquisition of sensitive user information is called “vishing.” What is a Vishing attack and how does it work? We will explain this in the article below.

What is a Vishing attack and how does it work?

Vishing is short for “voice phishing,” involving cyber attackers utilizing phone calls or voice messages to deceptively obtain sensitive information from victims. The attack’s aim is to coerce users into providing personal data, banking information, passwords, or other sensitive details.

How does a Vishing attack unfold?

Vishing attacks usually start with a fraudulent phone call. Attackers pretend to be genuine institutions like banks, government agencies, or charities. The attackers manipulate emotions to extract sensitive information by evoking fear, urgency, or curiosity. Their goal is to make you disclose confidential details.

Common vishing attack scenarios include claims that:

  • Your bank account has been compromised: The attacker poses as a bank representative, asserting that suspicious activities are occurring on your account. They request you to verify information to “assist” in protecting your account.
  • Legal issues have arisen: The attacker alleges that you have committed an offense or violation. As a result, you need to pay a fine or provide personal details for the attacker to “resolve the situation” with you.
  • You’ve won a valuable prize: The attacker claims you’ve won a prize or contest and asks for a “fee” to be paid. Alternatively, they often ask for your banking information for the purported prize transfer.
  • Debt settlement is required: The attacker pretends to be a creditor, insisting you have an outstanding debt. They demand an immediate payment or the provision of sensitive information.

How can you protect yourself from Vishing?

  • Verify the caller: If you receive a suspicious call, do not provide any information. Instead, call back using the official phone number of the organization the attacker claims to represent. This way, you can easily verify if the call is legitimate or not.
  • Be cautious: Do not succumb to urgent demands or stressful situations. Vishing attackers often create stressful scenarios to prompt your quick response.
  • Never share sensitive information over the phone: Banking details, passwords, social security numbers, and other sensitive information should never be provided over the phone.
  • Stay calm: If you suspect a vishing attack, remain calm and refuse the attacker’s requests. Inform appropriate authorities such as your bank or the police.
  • Educate yourself: For instance, there are many YouTube channels today that can help you learn about current attack trends. This will provide you with insights into potential scenarios that you might encounter.

Example of Elaborate Phishing and Vishing

If you have a few minutes to spare, you can now see how such a phishing combined with vishing works in practice. Social engineering plays a significant role here once again.

What is a Vishing Attack and How Does It Work


When it comes to attacks via mobile phones, attackers can be highly convincing, whether they pretend to be your banker or a police officer. Be extremely cautious about the information you disclose over the phone. Learn one essential and crucial thing: never provide any sensitive information to the other side during incoming calls. If you have any suspicions, politely but promptly end the call and verify the situation by dialing the official number of the respective institution. There, you will usually find out almost immediately whether the call was legitimate or not. If you’ve taken the time to watch the above-mentioned videos, you are now surely aware. The amount an attacker can take from you is not insignificant.

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