Here’s some advice when you receive a call/SMS from someone unknown. This advice also applies for calls that claims to be coming from services providers or mobile operators (such as Maxis, DiGi, Celcom, U Mobile, MCMC, Telekom….)
Tip 2: Ask them to verify you instead of YOU
If a telco calls you for whatever reason, ask them to verify you instead of you verifying yourself. If you are a customer(of that telco), then the person(caller) MUST have all the details (of you) in hand when he/she calls you. If you are not a customer, do not provide any personal details of yourself(IC, Address, phone numbers) or do not provide personal details of the person you may know.
Tip 3: Verify the person
Try to verify the person who calls you if you will be getting in touch with the person again (example, follow up calls or meetup). Ask for the caller’s office phone number and it is best that you get the extension number rather than the direct number (as for extension numbers, most cases, you will have to go through an operator which will verify the company where the caller works). Remember, most office number of the telco starts with “03”, so be smart and try not to provide any personal details.
If the call is about to meet a person or attend an event, ask the person to send you an email. An official email(check the sender’s email) will verify that the person is working with the company that he/she claims. If you have to meet that unknown caller, only meet the person at the office where he/she works(telco office).
If the person claims to be an “old friend”, ask the person to verify you, like things that he/she knows about you. Try avoid meeting up this type of caller.
Tip 4: Unknown numbers/ SMS
If you are receiving a lot missed calls from an unknown number, do some homework, try Googling that number and see if you can find out any info about the caller. Incase that there are so many calls about services that you don’t offer or something that is not related to you, don’t hang up the phone, instead find out where did the caller found out about you.
Also try not to call back the unknown number that missed call you so many times, if you return that call, your call might be redirected to a premium rate service. In other words, there are chances that this call can cause you a lot money.
Do not respond to an unknown SMS, unless you are willing to take the risks that comes after that. Some unknown SMS might sound like from someone that you know, depending on the content of that SMS, the message could be a “tactic” that will make you communicate with the sender.
If you reply the scammer, then it shows that you are interested to continue that communication (more sms and calls).
Worst come to worst, try invest on some good Malaysian made software like Fun Voice Mail(RM39) that allows you to block specific numbers including calls and sms.
Be carefull with calls from numbers less than 10 digits or more than 10 digits as these are not ordinary phone numbers.
Tip 5: So you won something?
I am sure the contest requires you to provide personal details before you joined it. So don’t provide your account number, don’t give your home address and don’t even think about giving them money. If you are sure about it(you won), ask the person to verify the details that you submitted(like slogan, your address..etc). No one is going to make you a millionaire for something or contest that you did not particpate, even if is a random one (lottery/lucky draw), so stay cautious.
Tip 6: Report it!!
If the SMS/call was made to threaten you, don’t hesitate to make a police report. You should also make a copy of that police report to alert your service provider and also the service provider of the caller(if you know).