Do you remember the “Telephone Game”? It’s the game that many of us used to play as children. You would whisper a message into someone’s ear and they would turn and whisper it to the person on the other side of them. By the time the message made it down the line, it had been distorted so much that you hardly knew what the original message was. Those telephone games were funny. Today’s, are much more serious.
A recent article by the FBI sheds light on an emerging phone scam in which criminals use phone lines to access and steal money from a target’s bank account. How does it happen? Many of us are familiar with answering a phone call only to hear dead silence on the other end or be connected to a solicitation message of some kind. What we don’t know is that this approach can be used as a diversion known as the “telephone denial-of-service attack”. While we’re tied up on the call, a criminal can contact our bank under a false identity and authorize transactions. When the bank calls to confirm the transaction, they can’t get through because our phone line is tied up. Even more disturbing, a criminal may also be able to add their contact information to our accounts.
Although industry professionals are working together to combat these new attacks, there are still steps that each of us can take to keep ourselves and our accounts safe:
- Never give out personal information. Denial-of-service attacks rely on gathering key information from phishing emails and unsolicited phone calls.
- Develop secure passwords for each of your accounts.
- Check your account balances regularly. A bank may be unaware that you have been made a victim. It is up to you to be proactive and notify your bank immediately if you have any concerns
To read more about denial-of-service attacks click here. And as always, be aware and stay safe.