A telephone number is one of the most valuable personal data in the digital world today and criminals might use it to scam the public and commit fraud. Recently, various cases involving consumers who suffered losses of up to hundreds of thousands of ringgit have been exposed in the media and social media due to scams. As an industry forum tasked to empower the consumers, the Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia (CFM) urges consumers to be more cautious when receiving suspicious calls and to be always aware of the scam techniques used by the syndicates.
The public should bear in mind that the main objective of these syndicates is to obtain personal banking details for them to defraud unsuspecting victims of their money. Their usual tactic is to gain the confidence of their potential victim by convincing that they represent banks or law-enforcement bodies. They would then intimidate and put fear in their potential victims by way of legal or financial threats and eventually influence the victims to share personal banking details that would allow them to withdraw the victims money from their bank accounts.
By using Caller ID Spoofing method where the scammers can manipulate the number appearing on the potential victims mobile phone, they will call a potential target and impersonate an officer to inform of their involvement in a criminal case, a legal suit, outstanding loans or credit card arrears where they will try to create a situation that causes the victim to become distressed and thus making the victim believe that the call is from a legitimate authority or agency.
“CFM advises consumers to be aware of the latest tactics used by scammers to deceive the public into becoming their victim. It is also very important for consumers to understand the implications of disclosing personal information arbitrarily to an unverified party. If you receive a suspicious call, CFM recommends consumers to contact the relevant institutions directly either by call to the official number or by going to their office in person to seek further clarification on the matter,” said CFM Chairman, Mohamad Yusrizal Dato’ Yusoff.
Below are CFM’s tips to avoid being a victim of fraud scam syndicates:
|CFM’S TIPS TO AVOID BEING A VICTIM OF FRAUD SCAM SYNDICATES|
|1.||Do not answer phone calls from unrecognized overseas numbers, unless they are in your contact list.|
|2.||Do not give any personal data such as bank account number, online banking password, CVV code on your bank card nor the TAC number to an unknown person. If the person asks for information about your debit/credit card and online banking, it is best to terminate the call.|
|3.||Should you receive a call from your bank or a law enforcement authority about any legal issue, take down particulars of the caller and inform them that you are unable talk at that moment and will call back. Do not panic and stay calm before calling your bank or the law-enforcement authority by using a number on their respective websites. Alternatively, go to their office in person to sort out any issues.|
|4.||Do not download any applications if you are prompted to do so as it could contain Malware or Spyware that might reveal your personal details.|
|5.||Contact your service provider if you repeatedly receive unrecognized calls.|
|6.||Consumer can use Truecaller app that can identify and block spam calls.|
Additionally, consumers should take more proactive measures to secure their personal data from being targeted and exposed to fraud syndicates without having to stop their online activities altogether. Below are some tips from CFM:
|CFM’S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CONSUMER TO SECURE PERSONAL DATA|
|1.||Do not share your personal phone number to receive free gifts or promotional vouchers. CFM advises consumers to create an alternative email account if there is a need to register an email address with minimal identifiable personal information for free gifts and promotional vouchers.|
|2.||Be careful when registering for any lucky draws and competitions. Read the terms of the competition carefully whether the organizer will share your data with other parties.|
|3.||Be cautious when registering your personnel details at any website. Only give your telephone number if it is absolutely necessary.|
For more information on fraud scam, watch CFM’s special interview in RTM’s “Suara Kita, Hak Kita” at the following link: https://goo.gl/GLSw9o
CFM is always committed towards prioritizing consumer rights in the communications and multimedia industry. CFM offers a one-stop platform for consumers to get the right information and tips related to communications and multimedia services. Consumers can also seek redress to unresolved complaints with their service providers by calling the CFM toll-free line at 1-800-18-2222 or email to [email protected] .
This article is brought to you by CFM.