What are vishing, caller ID spoofing and SMS phishing scams?

These are all scams that target your mobile phone. The term “vishing” or voice phishing occurs when criminals use pre-recorded messages to deliver a false marketing claim to steal credit card numbers, commit other types of identity theft, or attempt to sell fraudulent products. To avoid falling victim to a vishing scam, be aware of suspicious signs. Some scams tell you that your credit card has been compromised, and ask you to call the given number to verify personal information. Or, you’re instructed to dial a 1-800 number and purchase non-existent services.

Caller ID “spoofing,” is another technique used to make it appear as though the call is coming from a legitimate business. However, the company name and number that comes up on your phone is really a fake one. There are even legal commercial services that allow callers to choose their area code and prefix, so they fool you into thinking they are calling from one location, when in reality they are calling from another.

SMS phishing is also like Internet phishing on your cell phone. Some fraudster is trying to steal your personal information by tricking you with a text message or email that directs you to go to a fake Web site (that appears legitimate) and enter personal information, like your bank account login and password. SMS spamming is unwanted junk mail delivered as text messages to your cell phone. If spam is a problem for you, check with your cell phone company as they might have spam blocking available.

The SIM card inside GSM phones securely stores not only the contacts in your phone book, but also other personal information to prevent the fraudulent use of your service. It also secures your calls with encryption so they cannot be eavesdropped.