SMS scams resurface with 18 cases as of April – Bukit Aman CCID

Fraudulent activities via the Short Message Service (SMS) containing links have resurfaced, with 18 reported cases resulting in a loss of RM229,868 between Jan 1 and April 17.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director, Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf stated that the victims would reportedly receive an SMS, seemingly from a reputable telecommunications company, urging them to respond within a limited timeframe.

“The content of the SMS would state that the victim (receiver) has reward points that are about to expire and urge them to immediately redeem the points through the attached link,” he explained.

“Victims who click on the link will be asked to enter their online banking information including the OTP (one-time password) number. They will then discover their bank balances reduced,” he said at a press conference on the current situation of commercial crimes here today.

He noted that SMS scams fall under Section 420 of the Penal Code, and advised the public not to easily fall for such deceptions and to seek confirmation from the relevant telecommunications company if they receive any suspicious SMS.

Ramli suggested that banks should explore new methods to reassure customers during phone interactions to prevent them from mistaking legitimate calls as scams.

This comes as banking institutions face challenges in contacting customers who often avoid answering or abruptly hang up due to fears of online fraud.

“This is happening because a frequently reported modus operandi in online fraud is to contact victims via phone calls.

“This situation creates a stigma among the public that any call from an unknown number is a scammer,” he said, adding that even he had received a call from the bank via an unknown number, asking for verification without telling him the purpose of the call. — BERNAMA