PETALING JAYA: Ask anybody and chances are they have received calls from strangers claiming to be from the banks, the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) or even the courts.
With data leaks being reported more often these days, many wonder if these incidents were the main reason they have become the target of scam calls.
While many manage to evade the trap because they are careful and aware, others have fallen victim to fraudsters.
And despite countless reminders and warnings from the authorities, which had also made available a channel, Semak Mule, for people to check suspicious phone and bank account numbers, many continue to be cheated of their hard-earned money or retirement funds.
Some are, however, taking their own measures to protect themselves.
Sales executive S. Saha, 18, of Ampang, Selangor, said the Truecaller app could help people avoid scam calls.
Truecaller collects worldwide records based on a particular number and shows users how many people have reported the number as a scam.
“It can also help you block unknown or foreign numbers,” he said.
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Saha reminded people not to key in any personal information such as bank details, address and workplace on browsers that are not encrypted.
“Doing so could expose you to third-party access and enable scammers to gain access to your account,” he said.
Stacy Jugin receives calls from random numbers every now and then.
“I wonder why my number is targeted – or is it random? I don’t know,” said the 26-year-old executive working in Kuala Lumpur.
Jugin said she would cut off calls from unknown numbers.
“I have refused entertaining calls from people saying they are from the Customs Department or LHDN, or that I had an outstanding balance with a government agency.
“It is annoying to get them but if we just ignore them, what can they do?” she said.
Nurul Afiqah Ahmad Rusdi gets nervous when she receives calls from unknown numbers.
“These scammers, even if you don’t answer them, will call back or call from another number. They are relentless.
“I just make sure that I don’t press the buttons or links provided. I make sure not to share my personal information with anyone as it could be passed around,” said the young student from Selangor.
Another student, Nurul Adlin Nor Mohd Fauzi, 18, stays vigilant and one step ahead of the scammers.
“Sometimes we get calls about our purchases, but we are the ones who know what is legit, so we should not panic.
“There’s also an avenue for us to check through the police platforms.
“I believe data leaks are the source of such calls,” said the Kuala Lumpur resident.