What is vhishing? Explained compactly and simply!


In an increasingly digital world, threats are also constantly evolving. One of the latest and most dangerous scams is vhishing. This blog post provides a comprehensive overview of vhishing, its definition, the threats it poses and how to protect yourself against it.

Definition of vhishing

Vhishing is a form of fraud in which criminals use telephone calls to obtain personal and financial information from unsuspecting victims. The term is a combination of “voice” and “phishing“, i.e. voice phishing. The fraudsters use skilful deception on the phone to gain the trust of their victims and steal sensitive data.

Why vhishing is a threat

Vhishing poses a significant threat because it targets human nature. People are often willing to give out information over the phone, especially if the caller sounds trustworthy. Vhishing can lead to financial loss, identity theft and significant emotional distress.

How vhishing differs from phishing

While phishing is typically carried out via emails or fake websites, vhishing takes place over the phone. The scammers usually use fake phone numbers that resemble legitimate institutions to deceive their victims. Both methods aim to steal sensitive information, but vhishing can be more personal and direct.

Historical overview of vhishing

Vhishing has its roots in the early days of telephone fraud. With the increasing spread of the internet and digitalisation, the methods have evolved and become more sophisticated. Fraudsters are constantly adapting their tactics to new technologies and security measures.

The evolution of vhishing techniques

From simple calls asking for credit card information, vhishing has evolved into highly complex scams. Fraudsters now use techniques such as spoofing to falsify their phone number and automated systems to make mass calls.

The most common targets of vhishing

Typical targets of vhishing are individuals, particularly older people who may be less familiar with digital threats. But organisations, especially those with less robust security measures, can also be targeted.

Who are the victims?

The victims of vhishing are often people who show a high level of trust or are not sufficiently informed about the dangers. Older people who have less experience with modern fraud methods and people who are easily tricked in stressful or hectic situations are particularly at risk.

Why vhishing works

Vhishing works because it exploits psychological weaknesses and human trust. The scammers often use urgent language and create a false sense of urgency to catch their victims off guard and get them to reveal information without thinking.

Psychological tricks of the scammers

Fraudsters use a variety of psychological tricks to manipulate their victims. These include creating fear, exploiting authority figures and creating an artificial sense of urgency. These techniques help them to gain the trust of their victims and persuade them to disclose sensitive information.

The latest vhishing methods

Fraudsters are constantly developing new methods to deceive their victims. These include, among others:

  • Artificial intelligence: Fraudsters can use AI-generated voices to make authentic-sounding calls.
  • Deepfake calls: This involves imitating the voices of real people in order to gain the trust of victims.
  • Automated calling systems: These systems allow fraudsters to make large volumes of calls and thus reach more potential victims.

Artificial intelligence and vhishing

Artificial intelligence has taken vhishing to a new level. By using AI, fraudsters can imitate voices and make personalised calls. This technology enables them to appear more authentic and therefore be more successful.

Deepfake calls: a new dimension

Deepfake technology, which was originally developed to manipulate videos, is now also being used in vhishing. Fraudsters can imitate voices and thus make deceptively genuine calls. This makes it even more difficult to recognise a fraudulent call.

Social Engineering und Vhishing

Social engineering is a technique in which human interactions are used to steal confidential information. In the context of vhishing, this means that fraudsters pose as trustworthy people and use psychological tricks to persuade their victims to disclose information.

Technological tools of the vhisher

Vhishers use a variety of technological tools to carry out their scams. These include:

  • Spoofing software: Enables the falsification of telephone numbers.
  • Automated calling systems: Can make masses of calls.
  • AI generators: Create realistic-sounding voices and scenarios.

Recognition of vhishing calls

Recognising vhishing calls requires attention and knowledge of the typical characteristics of such calls. These include unusual telephone numbers, unsolicited calls from supposed authority figures and requests for personal or financial information.

Typical characteristics of a vhishing call

A vhishing call can have various characteristics:

  • Unusual urgency: The caller creates an artificial urgency.
  • Unknown or falsified numbers: The number displayed does not correspond to the real number of the institution.
  • Requests for sensitive information: The caller asks for personal or financial data.

Warning signals and red flags

There are various warning signals that can indicate a vhishing call:

  • Unexpected calls: Especially when personal information is requested.
  • Pressure and urgency: The caller presses for immediate action.
  • Unclear identification: The caller cannot provide clear information about themselves or the institution.

Protective measures against vhishing

There are various measures you can take to protect yourself against vhishing:

  • Exercise caution: Always be sceptical of unexpected calls.
  • Do not allow yourself to be put under pressure: Never disclose information if you feel under pressure.
  • Check numbers: If in doubt, research the caller’s number yourself and call back.

Technological protection solutions

Technological solutions can help to recognise and ward off vhishing calls:

  • Call blocker: Block suspicious numbers.
  • Anti-virus software: Protects against malicious programmes that can be spread by vhishing calls.
  • Security apps: Recognise and report suspicious calls.

Behaviour-based protective measures

In addition to technological solutions, there are also behaviour-based protective measures:

  • Education and sensitisation: Knowledge about the dangers and methods of vhishing is the first step towards protection.
  • Be careful with unknown calls: As a general rule, you should always be sceptical about unexpected calls and not disclose any sensitive information.

Prevention strategies for private individuals

Private individuals can protect themselves with the following strategies:

  • Regular information: Always keep yourself informed about the latest fraud methods.
  • Secure communication: If in doubt, always enquire via official channels of the institution.
  • Security measures: Use of call blockers and security software.

Prevention strategies for companies

Companies need to apply more comprehensive prevention strategies:

  • Employee training: Regular training on how to recognise and defend against vhishing.
  • Security protocols: Implementation of strict security protocols for handling sensitive information.
  • Technological investments: Investment in advanced security technologies.

Training programmes and awareness campaigns

Training programmes and awareness campaigns are crucial:

  • Regular training: Employees should be regularly informed about new threats and protective measures.
  • Awareness campaigns: Awareness campaigns can raise awareness of the dangers of vhishing.

Reaction to a vhishing attack

If a vhishing attack is successful, you need to react quickly:

  • Change passwords: Change all affected passwords immediately.
  • Inform the bank: Inform the bank immediately of any suspicious financial transactions.

What to do if you have been victimised?

If you have fallen victim to vhishing, you should take the following steps:

  • Keep calm: Try to stay calm and not make any more mistakes.
  • Document the incident: Make a note of all the details of the call and the information received.
  • Report the incident: Inform your bank and other relevant institutions about the incident.
  • Compensation for damages: If necessary, apply for compensation for financial losses incurred.

Steps to limit the damage

The following measures can be helpful in limiting the damage:

  • Check your financial accounts: Regularly check your accounts for suspicious activity.
  • Monitor your credit score: Monitor your credit score to recognise identity theft at an early stage.
  • Change your passwords regularly: Changing passwords regularly helps to minimise further security risks.

Legal steps and notification

It is important to handle the vhishing incident legally:

  • Report the incident to the police: File a report with the police to document the incident.
  • Retain all evidence: Collect all evidence and correspondence related to the incident.
  • Consult a lawyer: In some cases, it may be advisable to seek legal advice, especially if major financial losses have been incurred.

Future developments in the area of vhishing

Vhishing is a constantly evolving problem:

  • Technological advances: As technology advances, vhishing techniques could become even more sophisticated.
  • Adapting to security measures: Fraudsters adapt their tactics to new security protocols.
  • New targets: Future developments could target new sectors or population groups.

How vhishing could develop further

The future of vhishing could show various trends:

  • Use of AI: Artificial intelligence could be used for even more convincing vhishing calls.
  • Integration of deep learning: Deep learning could be used to make calls even more personalised and convincing.
  • Globalisation of vhishing: With globalisation, vhishing calls could also become more international and harder to track.

Preparation for future threats

The following measures are recommended to protect against future threats:

  • Investment in security technologies: Companies and private individuals should invest in advanced security solutions.
  • Ongoing training: Regular training and awareness campaigns help to stay informed about new vhishing methods.
  • Collaboration with security experts: Collaboration with security experts and institutions to protect against vhishing.


Vhishing is a serious threat that can affect anyone. However, with knowledge, caution and the right security measures, you can protect yourself effectively. Stay informed, be sceptical of unknown callers and act immediately if you become suspicious. This is the only way to protect yourself from the consequences of a vhishing attack and keep your personal information safe.

Summary of the most important points

  • Vhishing is a form of fraud that uses phone calls to steal personal and financial information.
  • It differs from phishing in that it involves direct personal contact over the telephone.
  • Protective measures such as training, technological solutions and education are crucial to recognising and preventing vhishing.

Appeal for vigilance and prevention

Be vigilant and informed about the latest scams. Never give out personal information without knowing the identity of the caller for sure. With education and caution, you can protect yourself and others from the dangers of vhishing.

On our marketplace for information security, IT security and cyber security, you will find the right service provider to check your company for vhishing and build up the corresponding awareness.

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