Man blackmailed after phone hacked

Stay alert: Chong (centre) with Chin (second left) at a press conference to highlight cases where victims’ phones were hacked and money withdrawn from their bank accounts.— ONG SOON HIN/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: A construction site supervisor’s mobile phone was hacked after he tried to apply for a personal loan.

Mohamad Zulkaria Mohamad Sebli, 42, said he saw a money lending advertisement about two weeks ago and contacted the number listed.

“One of my workers needed to take a loan, so I tried to help him get a RM300 loan through this advertisement.

“When I called the number, the person on the other end of the line told me to download an app called Easyduit to apply for the loan.

“I followed the instructions and he told me the loan had been approved but only for RM150,” he told reporters at the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department yesterday.

He said he rejected the loan and told them to cancel it and assumed that was the end of it.

“Then I started to receive phone calls demanding for money even though I never took a sen from them.

“Later on I received calls from my friends telling me that they have received messages claiming that I had a loan that I had not settled and that my MyKad and intimate photographs of me with my fiancee were also attached.

“I suspect that the syndicate hacked into my phone. That is the only way it could have accessed my contacts and photos,” he said, adding that he lodged a police report on the matter.

Meanwhile, Samantha Chin, 40, claimed she lost RM4,255 after her phone was hacked while she was trying to book a cleaning service.

“I found the service online on Nov 17 and contacted the number via WhatsApp and was sent a link to download an app in order to make an appointment.

“I was instructed to pay a RM20 deposit and I tried to make payment by keying in my banking username and password.

“The screen went blank so I attempted to use a different bank to do so and the same thing occurred,” she said, adding that the next day she found that an unauthorised money transfer of RM3,655.40 was made through one of her banking accounts.

She said when she checked the other bank account, she found that RM600 had also been transferred.

“I lodged a police report that same day as I suspect someone had hacked into my phone when I downloaded that app,” she said.

Meanwhile, department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong said he had received six such complaints this year.

“The losses from these six cases amount to at least RM480,000.

“My advice to those out there is to avoid making any transactions through unverified applicants.

“If you are unsure of the application, do not download it into your phone because you could give full control to a hacker,” he said.

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