Tips to avoid WhatsApp, Net scams
THE Internet has provided scammers much opportunity to work globally. More people are hooked to social media and apps, especially during the Movement Control Order.
A Telenor Group study involving scam victims in Malaysia, India, Singapore and Thailand showed that Malaysians were most susceptible to Internet scams.
Malaysians were relatively unaware of scams and trusted technology too much. Many scams are common such as Macau Scam, BigPay Scam, Social Media Scam and Job Scam.
Of these, Macau Scam remains the No. 1 fraud in Malaysia. Scammers have been operating for many years and their storylines are convincing, particularly concerning law enforcement and loss of money.
However, scams using WhatsApp should not be neglected. In WhatsApp scams, the victims will receive a text message from family members, friends or trusted contacts.
Cybercriminals pose as the victims’ acquaintance and request money from them.
The victims are unaware of the phone numbers used in the crime as the attached profile pictures look familiar. The scammers steal the pictures from the social media accounts of the victims.
They also use the same vocabulary as the victims to mislead them. They learn about this from the events the victims post on social media.
When responding to suspicious payment requests, they must be alert and make wise decisions.
Try calling the WhatsApp scammers instead. The person will usually never agree to talk via phone for fear of being exposed.
Normally, payments would be asked to be made to unidentified accounts. The scammer will request a direct transfer to an unknown account, which is used as a conduit account to move money to a string of accounts.
Try posing a question to the scammer that only your friend or acquaintance would be able to answer. If you suspect something is amiss, contact your family members or friends to inform them that their account has been hacked.
After all, people are obliged to research about scams and share the information with family members. The authorities must update the public on cases relating to scams on its websites.
Make the perpetrators face stiffer penalties and jail terms.
MOHD ROZAIMY RIDZUAN
Lecturer, UiTM Pahang branch,
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