Beware of scammers using fake tech support ruse, warns Bukit Aman

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians are being warned to be vigilant of a new scam tactic that has surfaced in Singapore, which allows scammers to gain unauthorised access to victims' electronic devices.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said with this method, victims would receive pop-up messages on their computers or laptops indicating that their devices have been hacked.

"They will then be instructed to call a technical support team via a phone number listed in the message.

"When the victim calls the number, the scammers posing as support staff from Microsoft or Apple, will inform the victim that their devices have been hacked and used for illegal activities.

"They will be told to download a file to enable the ‘support staff’ to remotely access their devices supposedly to prevent any further hacking," he said.

The victims will also be required to log into their online banking websites, he said.

"The scammers will claim it is to ensure that the victims' bank accounts are safe.

"However, once they have logged in, the scammers will use the access to transfer money from the account without the victims' knowledge," he said.

While such cases are more common in Singapore, Comm Ramli said the CCID is monitoring the situation in Malaysia and will act should any similar reports be filed.

"We are not ruling out the possibility that the tactic might spread to Malaysia.

"In fact, scammers might use the same tactic on mobile phones. Thus, the public must be vigilant and be wary of such tactics," he said.

Comm Ramli advised the public to always be careful and avoid downloading any suspicious files or applications.

"Uninstall any suspicious or unrecognised applications.

"Conduct anti-virus scans on electronic devices and remove any malware detected.

"Report to the banks and police if there is any suspicious activity in your bank account," he added.

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