Avoid using apps that require APK file downloads


MALAYSIANS are urged to not use house cleaning or food delivery services that require customers to download a third-party application under the Android Package Kit (APK).

Deputy Finance Minister II Yamani Hafez Musa (picture) said the APK file would allow scammers to read victims’ SMS carrying the one-time password (OTP), which is often used to facilitate payment and financial transactions.

The Sipitang MP added that the issue of losing money in accounts without the knowledge or permission of the customers is mainly caused by methods employed by financial fraud syndicates to induce customers to hand over their banking information either knowingly or not.

“For example, house cleaning or food delivery service offers where the financial fraud syndicate instructs the victim to download an APK application file that can read the SMS without the victim’s knowledge, along with a fraudulent payment or money transfer screen.

“At times, these syndicates also disguised themselves as authorities or banks to extract banking information from the victims.

“Therefore, Bank Negara Malaysia and the banking industry always remind people to be careful and protect their banking information from being shared with third parties, irresponsibly,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.

Yamani Hafez was responding to Tebrau MP Steven Choong who asked about the reasons certain bank depositors became the victims of scammers where their OTP was requested without permission.

Meanwhile, the deputy minister also reminded the public to take precautions and practical approaches to avoid being deceived and becoming a victim of fraud.

He advised the people to not panic when dealing with such a situation and to never follow the instructions of questionable callers, without first contacting the police or the financial institution involved.

He said this includes not sharing any vital personal information with the caller.

Yamani Hafez also cautioned Malaysians against calling dubious numbers for any reason and instead get the official phone number of the company, organisation or institution involved through their official websites for further verification.

He added that people should not disclose or share user ID and password details of their online banking account, ATM or card number and PIN to strangers.

“Do not download the third-party application using the APK file because the application can access the personal information on the victim’s phone.

“Always be alert and do not be easily fooled by tricks or techniques used by unknown parties,” he noted.


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