One fine day, a woman got a call from her bank (or so she thought), asking her to “authenticate” her account and she unknowingly answered their questions and even provided them with her one-time password (OTP).
After the call, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something didn’t feel quite right. As she followed up, it was too late. Transactions have been made and she had lost a sum of money.
That was the scenario the Singaporean authorities used for their public awareness campaign warning people of a new scam aimed at bank customers, reported The Straits Times.
In this latest scam, a person pretending to be from the bank would call, using spoofed numbers to disguise their number as the personal banking hotlines of certain banks.
The authorities advised the public to be cautious when receiving such unsolicited calls from banks or other financial institutions as scammers can use technology to mask their actual phone numbers and display official phone line numbers.
“If you receive a suspicious call purportedly from your bank, hang up and call the hotline published on the bank’s website to verify the authenticity of the request,” the Singaporean police said. They also warned that people shouldn’t call the numbers provided by suspicious callers.
According to The Straits Times, there’s also been a resurgence of phishing SMSes. These SMSes are made to seem like they’re sent from banking institutions and contain trapped links to send you to fake pages that look like the login pages of said bank. You’ll then type your details into the fake login page and they’ll get all your personal info.
These scams are not at all unique to Singapore because they turn up in Malaysia as well and like most scams, they’re often refined over time, thus making them harder and harder to detect.
From setting tight “time limits” and reducing the time you have to think, to taking advantage of your lack of knowledge and scaring you into following instructions, the use of revised techniques and increasingly elaborate schemes means that unwary populations can be caught unprepared by old cons with new tricks.
It’s always good to keep in mind that scammers are always on the lookout for victims; from the old to the vulnerable, no one is off limits. In a world where scammers are constantly finding new ways to cheat the unwary, the truest defence we have is to be educated of the dangers and always be on alert.
For more information, you may visit Bank Negara Malaysia’s Financial Fraud Microsite.
Whoa, it’s certainly a dangerous world out there! What are some tips you guys have to avoid scams? Share them with us in the comments!
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