UK businesses making good use of voice over IP providers should be on their guard against phishing phone calls, where fraudsters give out false information over the phone to extract sensitive information.
This is according to chartered accountancy and business advisory company PFK Francis Clark, observing that people are often less prepared to think about what the implications are of complying with fraudulent requests over the phone than they would be if they received a phishing email, for example.
VAT partner with the firm Julie Towers said: “It has been brought to our attention that a client has received a fraudulent phone call from an individual claiming to be from the ‘VAT Recovery Unit’ – a unit which does not exist. Our client was told that their most recent VAT payment had bounced and that the payment had to be made immediately to a different account, otherwise the police/bailiffs would be sent. A bogus e-mail address was given, which to a client may appear convincing and legitimate.”
To protect yourself, don’t assume that the person who’s sent you a text or email, or who’s called you, is who they say they are. If a phone call or voicemail asks you to log into an online account, make a payment or is offering you a deal, proceed with extreme caution. Legitimate banks will never email you for passwords or ask you to provide sensitive information by visiting a site or clicking a link.
And if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from your bank, don’t give out any personal details over the phone.