Tech Tip: The scariest stories are the “real” ones

One day, Bounce the Bobcat was minding their business, happily scrolling through social media, and sending funny memes to their best friends.

Then, all of a sudden their phone rang. It was the CEO!

Bounce readied themself and answered the phone excited to hear what Mr. Boney was calling about.

“Hello Bounce! How are you doing today?” Asked the voice on the other end of the phone.

“I’m great, Mr. Boney, how are you?!” Responded the jubilant bobcat. But was it Bounce’s inability to get the phone all the way to their ear, or did the CEO not sound like himself?

“I’m doing just fine, Bounce. But say, I do have a problem I was hoping you could help me with.”

“Oh yeah? What problem could I possibly help you with?” Returned Bounce.

“I seem to have gotten myself locked out of my work account and I can’t figure out how to get back in! Would you mind trying it yourself and letting me know what your 6-digit MFA code is? I just can’t get mine to work.” The scammer seethed through his data-stained teeth.

“Of course, Mr. Boney! Happy to help.”

And boy did Bounce help.

The scammer had already stolen Bounce’s password before making this call, and when the bobcat gave him their 6-digit MFA code the scammer gained access to Bounce’s work account. After that, the scammer shared all sorts of malicious stuff with all of Bounce’s friends and colleagues, and the bobcat was locked out of their account.

If Bounce had known Vishing is a type of phishing scam where someone calls you and pretends to be from a trustworthy institution, they might have been safe. But in this case, these scammers even went so far as to disguise their phone number as Bounce’s boss, and that can really trip people up.

But it’s not too late for you, dear reader!

Always be cautious of any unsolicited phone calls or text messages, and if you do get one from places like the bank, utility companies, the IRS, or other similar institutions, hang up and contact them directly using the information found on their website to verify.

To learn more about the ways scammers try to steal your data using Vishing (phone calls) and Smshing (text messages), visit our Cybersecurity webpage!

If you need assistance regarding this topic, please contact the UWM Help Desk.