May 19, 2009
by Marguerite Reardon
You might have heard about online "phishing" scams designed to steal money from unsuspecting Web users, but now criminals are using another type of scam called "vishing" to commit the same crimes.
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission filed lawsuits against two telemarketing firms in Florida and a company claiming to sell extended automobile warranties for violating the Do Not Call registry and fraud for selling bogus warranties for between $2,000 and $3,000 a pop. Since 2007, the companies supposedly made 1 billion calls and generated more than $10 billion.
These companies likely used spoofed caller ID numbers to hide their identities from consumers and law enforcement authorities.
The case is the latest example in what is known as vishing attacks, which use the phone network to swindle people out of money. To help readers understand what these scams are, how they work and how they can protect themselves. CNET News has put together this FAQ.
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