Watch out! There are many ways in which we get duped


PETALING JAYA: There are several types of scams widely used by fraudsters but almost all begin with attempts to contact potential victims through various methods, including phone calls, online messages, SMS texts, email and even face-to-face interactions.

One of the common methods is to pose as an official from government agencies such as the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN), Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the police and even financial institutions.

They will try and convince victims to give up sensitive information like bank login details and personal data such as one-time passwords (OTPs).

In some cases, using stolen data, criminals will target those who are in legal trouble, investors looking for high-yield investments or pensioners.

Bank Negara has warned that if an offer is too good to be true, it probably is – the public should be wary and always verify the validity of promised high returns.

Most get-rich-quick schemes also assert that wealth can be generated with little skill, effort or time.

For instance, criminals offer online investment deals while claiming to be foreign operators that do not require licences from Malaysian regulators to operate their business so investors can put their money down easily.

Another common method is the business email compromise scam in which a scammer may spoof (ie, forge) a legitimate website to fool victims – the differences from the legitimate source are so small, people don’t notice they’re logging into a spoofed website where login details like passwords will be captured.

Criminals may also use phishing emails to make messages appear to be from a trusted sender to trick victims into revealing sensitive information.

In some recent cases, scammers have targeted EPF contributors by offering ways to help them withdraw RM500 from their Account 2.

Another method is the “love scam”, in which scammers will pose as attractive potential partners and target the vulnerable on dating and social media sites.

Some even use stolen photos and fake accounts to appear more convincing.

According to MCA public services and complaints department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong, it is common for scammers to try to get close to victims to gain their trust.

Once they have established some trust, they will come up with a sob story, saying that they are facing sudden severe difficulties and will try to ask for money, he said.

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