As telephone scams become increasingly prevalent, it is crucial to understand what causes recipients to fall victim to these scams. Armed with this knowledge, effective countermeasures can be developed to challenge the key foundations of successful telephone phishing attacks. In this paper, we present the methodology, design, execution, results, and evaluation of an ethical telephone phishing scam. The study performed 10 telephone phishing experiments on 3,000 university participants without prior awareness over the course of a workweek. Overall, we were able to identify at least one key factor-spoofed Caller ID-that had a significant effect in tricking the victims into revealing their Social Security number.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 28th USENIX Security Symposium
PublisherUSENIX Association
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781939133069
StatePublished - 2019
Event28th USENIX Security Symposium - Santa Clara, United States
Duration: Aug 14 2019Aug 16 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 28th USENIX Security Symposium


Conference28th USENIX Security Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Clara

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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