ALL IT TAKES IS A PHONE CALL

Be aware of the in­creas­ingly con­vinc­ing modus operandi of phone scammers.

Herworld (Malaysia) - - HER LIFE -

As tech­nol­ogy ad­vances, peo­ple are in­vent­ing new ways to swin­dle money from the un­sus­pect­ing. Around the world, many have fallen prey to cy­ber crime or lost large sums of money af­ter a ‘phish­ing' phone call.

DE­CEP­TIONS

Ac­cord­ing to count­less news re­ports and the Royal Malaysia Po­lice, some phis­ing meth­ods are more com­mon than oth­ers in Malaysia. Case num­ber one: get­ting a call con­grat­u­lat­ing you on win­ning a mil­lion dol­lars from a lucky draw. You're then re­quired to send a cer­tain amount of money as 'in­sur­ance' for the money you'll be re­ceiv­ing. Once you've trans­ferred the funds, you won't be able to con­tact any­one at that num­ber any­more. Case num­ber two: you get a phone call from a for­eign num­ber but who­ever's call­ing hangs up af­ter a ring or two. This is to picque your cu­rios­ity so you call back, and when you do, they'll keep you on the line to charge you ex­pen­sive in­ter­na­tional call rates.

Be­sides these two ex­am­ples, you may also get a call from a bank telling you that you're in debt be­cause there is an out­stand­ing fee on your credit card. You may or may not have signed up for a credit card with that par­tic­u­lar bank pre­vi­ously. To lower your guard, they'll then ask you to call a given num­ber to con­firm what is hap­pen­ing and to get your per­sonal or bank de­tails. Once you've handed over this in­for­ma­tion, you may no­tice that your bank ac­count has been emp­tied. This plan has be­come more elab­o­rate, so you may even be told that some­where in Malaysia, some­one has used a credit card un­der your name to pur­chase some­thing ridicu­lously ex­pen­sive. In the event that you deny hav­ing a credit card with them, they'll in­sist that you call 'Bank Ne­gara' through a phone num­ber given by them. To block this credit card, you'll have to fol­low a set of in­struc­tions that in­cludes go­ing to an ATM ma­chine to make a trans­ac­tion, which will then re­sult in them emp­ty­ing your bank ac­count.

PRE­VEN­TION

If you do get what you sus­pect to be a scam call, take a deep breath and stay calm, so you can clar­ify what is hap­pen­ing and what you can do about it. In this sit­u­a­tion, the Royal Malaysia Po­lice's ad­vice is to never give your per­sonal or bank de­tails to any­one over the phone. Also, do not call the num­ber given to you. When in doubt, call the bank's of­fi­cial num­ber to clar­ify the sit­u­a­tion. You can also take some time off to visit the bank – even though you may have to wait a while to speak to an of­fi­cer, it's bet­ter to be safe than sorry.

IF YOU’RE A VIC­TIM, MAKE A PO­LICE RE­PORT AT THE NEAR­EST PO­LICE STA­TION. IF YOU’RE CAUGHT IN THE MID­DLE OF A SCAM, CALL BANK NE­GARA MALAYSIA’S CUS­TOMER SER­VICE CALL CEN­TRE AT 1-300-88-5465 FOR SUP­PORT.

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