Good and bad of the Internet

  • Letters
  • Thursday, 20 Jun 2019

I MUST admit that technology has been making life super easy for me. In my almost 40 years of living, I have seen so many good things that technology has enabled us to do, and I honestly can’t remember the last time I was without my phone for more than a few hours!

But recently, I am seeing people around me succumbing as victims to scams and fraud, which proves just how scary the online world can be.

A few months ago, my sister received an SMS text telling her she had won a holiday package from a “bank”. She clicked on a link from the SMS and proceeded to fill in her credit card details (16-digit number and three-digit pin).

She was then asked to call the number provided because the bank wished to do a verification call to retrieve further details.

The “bank” texted my sister, requesting her to key in her six-digit security pin. Now, the “bank” had my sister’s full banking details and could do as it pleased.

I won’t disclose the amount of money she was duped of, but we were so outraged by this incident.

That’s not all. A few weeks ago, I saw her registering for an e-wallet. In the process, she was asked for her credit card details and the three-digit CVV number at the back of her bank card to enable the auto-reload payment method.

Given her past sour experience, she was extremely cautious and hesitant about sharing her banking details. She didn’t know whether the e-wallet system could be trusted.

The thing is, the public have been advised time and time again to always be careful about sharing banking information online, but we continue to see and hear stories of people being scammed to reveal such information.

I think we should always take a step back and try to evaluate the situation before we willingly give out our banking information whenever we purchase anything online. As secure as online shopping is supposed to be, fraudsters can still find ways to cheat people of their money, let alone through something as new as e-wallets.

While the public are aware to always be on their toes, what about the operators of the e-wallet companies themselves? What are they doing to protect us? The system is fairly new and no one knows how it works exactly. Can the companies be sure that important details like banking information will not be “leaked” elsewhere? What would happen if I made a payment with the e-wallet and something went wrong?


Subang Jaya


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