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The Ultimate Vishing Guide for Business, Part 3: Shielding Your Brand - Strategies to Thwart Identity Spoofing

In our first two parts of The Ultimate Vishing Guide for Business, we've delved deep into the world of vishing and the importance of employee training. In Part 3 we shift our focus to a particularly malicious form of vishing: brand identity spoofing. This tactic is where scammers impersonate your brand, hijacking the trust you have earned in order to exploit customers and even non-customers. This type of vishers is, can we say, vicious, and causes significant harm to a brand.

In this guide, we will discuss:

Understanding Brand Identity Spoofing Scams   

Brand identity spoofing is when a scammer makes calls claiming to represent a trusted brand. Starting from a position of trust, they are much more able to extract sensitive information from their mark, or even get them to complete steps (like installing a “support portal app”) that benefit the attacker. For businesses, the ramifications are broad: the brand suffers reputation damage, often losing existing customers or souring potential customers; but also, direct financial losses in trying to unravel what happened and in supporting the scammed person. Direct losses may come from customer-service granted credits, lost business, lost future business, and the time and effort it takes your customer service and security teams to resolve the situation.

Strategies To Protect Your Brand From Brand Spoofing Scams

As we learned in Part 2, employee education is critical to direct vishing scams. But how can a brand even begin to mitigate the damages of external phone calls to people that may not even be their customer?

Here are strategies to dramatically reduce the damage caused by vicious vishers using your brand’s name in scams:

  1. Client Education: Regularly inform your customers about the potential risks of vishing and how your brand communicates. Emphasize key points, such as the fact that your company will never ask for passwords or credit card details over unsolicited calls. (Larger brand sometimes disseminate this through external campaigns as well.)
  2. Develop Clear Procedures for Handling Brand Spoofing Incidents: Establish a clear protocol for handling instances when your brand is spoofed. Generally speaking, the point of contact will either be Customer Service representatives or Security teams. Do they have clear procedures that include steps to save the customer, to try and ascertain the scammer’s identity, to documenting legal issues as needed, to the parameters and budgets for resolving these issues, customer notification thresholds, even liaising with law enforcement if necessary? If you don’t have clear, written procedures, you’re not mitigating the damages.
  3. Train Your Customer Service Team: Hand-in-hand with having procedures, is actually equipping your customer service reps with the knowledge and tools to handle queries related to brand spoofing. They should be able to guide customers on verifying the authenticity of communications and reporting suspicious activities.
  4. Develop a PR Strategy for Brand Spoofing: Be prepared with a public relations strategy to address any spoofing incidents that make the news. This includes monitoring media mentions and having prepared statements to reassure customers and stakeholders.
  5. Ongoing Brand Monitoring: Use online tools and services to continuously monitor unauthorized use of your brand's name, logo, or other identifiers. Immediate detection can lead to quicker response and mitigation.
  6. Establish a Reporting Mechanism: Create an easy-to-use system for customers and employees to report suspected brand spoofing attempts. This can help in quickly identifying and addressing threats.

Partner with a Cutting-Edge Expert: Very few, if any, brands are experts at stopping external brand identity spoofing and vishing. It’s not your core competency, nor should it be. So find an organization that’s using cutting-edge technology and years of experience to help stop the vishers using your name.

New Tools To Stop Brand Identity Spoofing: Brand Protection Management

There are a range of excellent partner companies, but one is a clear leader in terms of experience and technology: YouMailPS, a pioneer in the realm of telecommunication security.

YouMailPS (the PS stands for “Protective Services”) is the enterprise side of well-known YouMail, which has protected consumer phones from spam for over 15 years.

YouMailPS's enterprise solutions are designed to protect businesses and their customers from phone-based fraud. Their platform leverages a combination of AI, machine learning, and a vast sensor network to detect and block malicious calls.

How does it work?

  1. Vast Sensor Network: YouMailPS's uses YouMail’s expansive sensor network data. This uncovers call patterns and audio data with literally billions of data points across the nation. Gathering this data allows the most broad analysis.
  2. AI-Powered Analysis: With the power of AI and machine learning, YouMailPS can differentiate between legitimate and malicious calls. This ensures that genuine communications are not mistakenly flagged, allowing businesses to operate without disruptions.
  3. Audio Analytics: YouMailPS employs advanced audio analytics to scrutinize the content of voice mails left in their consumer data points. This allows for nearly immediate identification of new or common scams that are using your brand’s name.
  4. Real-time Protection: With sophisticated analysis of massive amounts of real-time data, YouMailPS can identify even the most sophisticated vishing attempts nearly instantly, allowing you to be aware or take action.
  5. Customizable Solutions: Understanding that every business has unique needs, YouMailPS offers customizable solutions in terms of notifications, reporting, and even analysis — the flexibility businesses need.
  6. Dedicated Support: With highly experienced experts who have been at the forefront of telecommunication security for over a decade, YouMailPS ensures that businesses have the support they need.

Founded with the mission to protect communication in an increasingly connected world, YouMail and YouMailPS have been the leaders in the fight against unwanted calls and phone fraud. They’ve protected over 350 million phone numbers, stopped over a billion robocalls, and answered well over 10 billion calls.

Brand identity spoofing is a sophisticated and damaging form of vishing, posing a significant threat to businesses and their customers. However, with advanced tools like those offered by YouMailPS, businesses can proactively defend against these threats. By leveraging AI, machine learning, and an extensive sensor network, YouMailPS provides businesses with the tools they need to protect their brand reputation and foster trust among their customer base.

Stay tuned for Part 4, where we'll delve deeper into the technological tools available to businesses in their fight against vishing.

For more information on securing your business communication, contact YouMailPS — the industry leaders in detecting and protecting brands from fraudulent voice communications.

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