MyCert: Facebook ads impersonating KL mall and Khairul Aming lead users to phishing sites, hosting providers told to take action


MyCert recommended that users be extra cautious about online deals that ‘seem too good to be true’ and to not click on any suspicious URLs sent through social media postings, ads, email or any messaging service. — Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

The Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCert) is advising the public to be wary of scam ads on social media, adding it has notified web hosting providers to take appropriate action against phishing sites that were linked to a number of such ads on Facebook.

In an Oct 30 alert, the agency said it has observed a surge in fraudulent ads impersonating popular brands or individuals, including a page claiming to belong to Mid Valley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur and another using social media personality Khairul Aming’s name.

It also highlighted that these ads will be marked with a “Sponsored” label, indicating that it’s an ad or promoted content on Facebook.

MyCert explained that the ads are aimed at targeting victims with “tempting online offers” for products like perfumes or gadgets. In one ad impersonating Khairul Aming, the posting was made to look like a testimonial for a limited-time sale on a smartwatch.

The ads include links to phishing sites that have been designed to mimic legitimate ecommerce sites with identical branding.

Users who end up on the phishing sites will be asked to provide personal details such as delivery address and phone number. Once they have done so, MyCert said the website would claim that the order is confirmed and the victim will be required to make a payment upon receiving a receipt.

It added that victims risk disclosing their banking information, name, address and phone number to third parties or attackers which could lead to potential financial loss.

MyCert recommended that users be extra cautious about online deals that “seem too good to be true” and to not click on any suspicious URLs sent through social media postings, ads, email or any messaging service.

It also urged victims to contact their banks if they spot any unauthorised transactions and the Malaysian National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) hotline at 997.

Back in July, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said Malaysians have suffered losses close to RM330mil due to scams on Meta platforms namely Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp from a period of January to May 2023. He added there is a 25% increase compared to the same period last year.

He added that Meta has agreed to work closely with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to curb online crime which include scams, online gambling and postings touching on 3R (race, religion, royalty).

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