New, insidious scam emerges in Singapore

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians should be on the alert for a new scam that emerged in Singapore, which enables scammers to gain access to victims’ electronic devices, says Comm Datuk Seri Comm Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf (pic).

The Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director said victims would receive pop-up messages on their computers or laptops warning them that their devices had 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 will pose as support staff from Microsoft or Apple and would inform the victim that their device had been hacked and used for illegal purposes.

“They will be told to download a file to enable the ‘support staff’ to remotely access their devices, supposedly to prevent further hacking,” he told a recent press conference.

The victims will also be required to log in to their online banking websites, he added.

“The scammers will claim it is done to ensure that the victims’ bank accounts are safe.

“However, once they have logged in, the scammers will use the access and password to transfer money from the bank account without the victims’ knowledge,” he said.

While such cases were happening in Singapore, Comm Ramli said the CCID is monitoring the situation closely in Malaysia.

“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. The public must be vigilant and be wary of such tactics,” he said.

Comm Ramli advised the public to always be careful and not download suspicious files or applications.

“Uninstall any suspicious or unrecognised applications. Conduct anti-virus scans on electronic devices and remove any malware detected.

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

Meanwhile, Comm Ramli said the number of commercial crime cases had gone down slightly in the first 19 weeks of the year compared with the same period last year.

He said a total of 11,696 cases were recorded from Jan 1 until May 12.

“It is an average of 88 cases per day. The number of cases had showed a 1% decline compared with the 11,834 cases last year,” he added.

A total of 5,550 investigation papers (IPs) have been prosecuted this year, which is 47% of the total IPs that were opened, he said.

“It is an increase compared with last year, when 5,367 IPs were opened or 45% of the total cases,” he added.

Between Jan 1 and April 30, a total of 10,179 IPs were opened and most of them were syndicated crimes, Comm Ramli said.

“Some 67.3% or 6,885 cases were syndicated crimes. These involved RM378.3mil in losses and the cases have been classified into 16 categories,” he said.

Comm Ramli said among the top syndicated crimes in terms of losses were investment scams at RM231.4mil, property fraud (RM56.7mil), phone scams (RM33.8mil) and online purchase fraud (RM20.3mil).

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CCID , Crime , Syndicate , Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf


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