Monday, February 6, 2023

Reader’s Letter: SMS Scam

Email me your opinion and it might be published here!

Letter from Wong:

I just found out that I’ve been charged RM3 daily for the past three months for a mobile “quiz” service by 36181. I checked with my telco (DiGi) and I was told that I sent ‘on iq’ to 36181 which I didn’t. That means I’ve lost around RM300 for a service I didn’t subscribe to.

After checking the issue online (the link provided above) I found out that I might only be one of plenty of mobile phone users who are affected by this. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that this is clearly a scam. One example of the message I received (today, in fact) is: “IQ: Onions help reduce cholesterol if eaten after a fatty meal.
And users get charged RM3 for a message like that. This is completely ridiculous. It’s not a song/picture/video or a piece of news. It just doesn’t make sense that anybody would pay RM3 for something like that, they’re clearly exploiting mobile phone users, hoping that they didn’t notice their phone bills.

After contacting DiGi, I found out they are very reluctant to take any action about the service provider and I can’t help but wonder if this has something to do with the fact that the telco company earns a percentage from the service provider’s charge as well. I’ve contacted MCMC and is waiting for their reply.

I know this might have little to do with your blog, but I’m sure I’m only one of plenty of other mobile phone users affected by this. I get a feeling that the telcos aren’t doing much about this problem because they’re making loads of money from scams like this as well. Seems to me like DiGi’s anti-spam system is rather poor as well. Hope you’ll look into this matter in your blog and at least post something to get people informed of this scam.

Thanks in advance.

Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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