It seems that as people become more educated about the various ways that identity theft can occur, the thieves themselves also get smarter. It’s becoming harder and harder for consumers to protect themselves and their identities from fraudulent acts on the part of scammers. If you thought that scammers couldn’t do any better than spoofed emails and websites, think again. Identity thieves struck again. This time, they’ve found a way to use phone numbers to fool consumers.
The new scam, termed “vishing”, entices consumers to call a telephone number that is attached to a VoIP account. These internet telephony numbers are fairly easy to obtain through VoIP providers like Skype. The numbers can also be gained by retailers like Vonage that sell VoIP products.
Two of the most popular scams to date victimize PayPal users. In one of the scams, an email is sent to PayPal users asking them to call a telephone number. When the victim calls the number, he or she is then asked for information pertaining to the PayPal account such as a social security number or a bank account number.
In a second PayPal scam that uses VoIP, the scammers use an automatic dialer to dial phone numbers. The scammer spoofs the caller ID so that callers will believe that it is indeed PayPal that is calling them. When the phone is answered, a recording informs the victim that there has been fraudulent activity on his or her credit. Then, a telephone number is given and the victim is instructed to call the credit card issuer for more information. Should the victim call the number, he is asked for personal account information in a similar fashion to the previous mentioned scam.
There are some people who argue that perhaps the VoIP service providers are at fault because they make VoIP numbers so easy to obtain. In most cases, these numbers can be obtained anonymously. The requestor does not have to give very much, if any, identifying information. This makes it easier for the scammers to get away with their vishing scams. Consequently, it is extremely difficult for law enforcement agencies to catch the perpetrators.
Credit card companies may also be at fault. In recent years, consumers have been made to feel that it is perfectly acceptable for them to obtain credit either online or by using an automated telephone number. This leaves consumers with no reason to suspect a scam.
Perhaps in the future, it will be tougher to obtain VoIP telephone numbers. In the meantime, it is up to consumers to protect themselves from vishing scams that make use of the VoIP phone system. Avoid calling a telephone number that is provided in an email or through a phone call. Instead, call the number listed on the back of your credit card for optimal safety.
A Review Of The Top 5 VoIP Phones
While the VoIP market continues to grow at a great pace we are seeing new products being launched on an almost daily basis. We reccomend to use smart device with a trusted provider like Hottelecom. As manufacturers begin to wake up to the forecasts for VoIP, some of the major phone manufacturers are starting to take a grip of the market. Some of the more popular products currently available include:-
Dualphone have taken one of the easier routes to market by joining forces with Skype to release their first Skype / PSTN phone. While many have aimed at the largest market at the moment, i.e. Skype, Dualphone have introduced a new angle as the DUALPHONE 3088 does not require a PC.
The design is very similar to a traditional mobile phone, unlike some of the more chunky initial offerings onto the market. The phone comes with a base station which plugs directly into your standard phone socket, and after an initial 10 minute charge up period, the phone is ready to use.
The set-up is very straight forward with a simple navigation system allowing you to set-up an array of Skype account types, store numbers, search contacts, etc. The phone has an impressive range which will prove useful for both the home and office, and offers an advantage over WiFi phones.
ipDialog Sip Tone II
While the ipDialog Sip Tone II is fairly cheap compared to other VoIP phones in the sector, it is probably one of the better value for money phones around. Offering a vast array of services, the phone also offers the chance to upgrade the firm’s software, as and when updated versions are available.
The phone simply fits into your phone wall socket and is literally ready to go in a matter of moments, and the software allows you to use any mobile phone as a VoIP phone. The software is based on a static IP address, which allows you to use both internet and phone at the same time – vital for both home and business use.
Offering the traditional hands free, large contacts area, voice mail and many more facilities, the look, services and quality of sound make the ipDialog Sip Tone II indistinguishable from traditional network based phone services.
Siemens Gigaset C450 IP
Again the Siemens Gigaset C450 IP phone has the look of a traditional home phone, and offers access to some of the more up to date services and functions available in the market place. Supporting both SIP (Ethernet) and PSTN connection, it covers both traditional and new age phones services.
This particular phone has a range of 300m outdoors and 50m indoors, which is more than adequate for normal phone requirements. Like the majority of IP phones, which are obviously internet based, there is also the option to upgrade firm software as and when available.
In line with the majority of quality IP phones on the market, the Siemens Gigaset C450 IP is very simple to install and supports none-VoIP calls. In a market which is fast evolving, the Siemens Gigaset C450 IP is up there with the best around.
Sipura 841 Phone
The beauty of a new technology market is the fact that relatively unknown companies are able to make their own mark – without prejudice. Sipura have obviously done their homework on the requirements and facilities required for the VoIP market, and released the Sipura 841 Phone.
The phone connects to your network via a RJ45 terminated Ethernet cable, and allows variable or static IP use. The software supports two separate phone lines, with up to four lines available under license – appealing to both the office and home business market. The quality of sound is as good as any currently available, and yet again there are regular software downloads available via the internet connection.
SNOM 190 VoIP Phone
At first glance the SNOM 190 VoIP Phone looks like your traditional handset, but it is perhaps one of the more adaptable phones currently on the market. Offering the opportunity to customize many aspects of the functionality of the product, the user is put firmly in control.
The SNOM 190 VoIP Phone allows up to 7 separate VoIP accounts, and a number of pre-programmable keys. As well as the attractions of redefinable keys, improved functionality and the high degree of customization the product is well supported by a top of the range website. As well as saving your contacts on the phone, you are also able to upload to your own web account and operate the phone from the internet.
All in all the quality of products available on the market has increased dramatically over the last 12 months as more and more manufacturers begin to see the potential for VoIP. As the service looks to threaten the mobile phone industry, there is speculation that the major mobile phone networks will be taking more of an interest in the future.
As competition grows and prices continue to come under pressure, the appeal to the mass market is growing. The overall market is still very much in its infancy and we have only scratched the surface of the full potential. More products and services are due to come on line over the coming months, as more and more people realize how much can be saved, without loss of quality.
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