Monday, August 10

Use apps to filter calls from scammers — Cybersecurity Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR: Mobile phone users are urged to upload applications that can filter calls and prevent them from falling victims to scammers who use the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to commit cheating.

CyberSecurity Malaysia’s Response and Cyber Security Capacity-Building Division executive, Edwan Mohd Aidid said although the success rate was around one per cent, such applications could still act as first-line shields to prevent people from becoming victims of scams via phone calls which had become rampant.

“The public can use various applications such as the True Caller app that have been developed to filter calls from scammers. Nevertheless, awareness of the various modus operandi of cheating is key to preventing one from being cheated.

“Most importantly, always crosscheck a suspicious call even if it comes from a friend or family member,” he told Bernama after being a panellist at the Scam Awareness Forum organised by UCSI University here yesterday.

Also on the panel were Cheras district police Commercial CID chief, ASP Janarthanan Nail and Housing and Strata Management Tribunal president, Kamarul Zaman Abdul Rahman, a former magistrate.

“Using the VoIP is a normal tactic by cheating syndicates such as  Love Scam, Macau Scam, Black Money and more to manipulate victims into giving money to them,” said Edwan.

He said mobile phone users should also be careful if choosing the auto login or Remember Me mode on websites surfed, especially when it involved banking transactions.

“Using the auto login or Remember Me on social media or bank accounts is good because we don’t need to repeatedly enter the password. However, this is still risky, particularly when using the Internet in public places and even more risky if one’s laptop or mobile phone is lost or stolen.

“Due to this, although using the auto login, users are advised to always update or change their password and choose a password that is hard to guess,” he added.

Meanwhile, Janarthanan advised the public not to allow someone else the use of their bank account to avoid the account from being misused by scammers.

“Usually a scammer needs a bank account, so he will use whatever means to get it such as borrowing an account and he will give the account holder commission for every transaction made. With such an offer, the holder willingly allows the scammer to use his bank account.

“If arrested and the bank account holder is found to be aware that the transactions were meant for obtaining money wrongfully, he can be charged under Section 242 of the Penal Code,” he said.

Janarthanan also advised the public not to easily believe any call purportedly from the police or court, saying they were involved in a criminal case as the police and court had set guidelines to follow before any arrest could be made.

“When you receive such a suspicious call, the best thing to do is to go straight to the police station to check on any report lodged on you or refer to the court registrar. Also do the same (checking) if it involves a bank.

“The public should not be afraid of any warning or threat issued by scammers as this is among their modus operandi to get money from you,” he said.

The forum attended by over 100 UCSI University students, officers and staff was organised to educate and create awareness of the modes of cheating used by scammers on potential victims, in view of this crime being increasingly rampant  across the world including Malaysia, with huge financial losses for the victims and even the loss of lives in some cases. — Bernama