The Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Mohd Kamarudin Md Din warned of a new tactic by scammers designed to steal money from victims’ bank accounts. Scammers are now able to hack into a victim’s phone after gaining access through an APK file downloaded by victims who “purchased” items online.
According to Datuk Mohd Kamarudin, the syndicate used Facebook to advertise items for sale, as well as TV streaming services. The victims would then contact the syndicate through WhatsApp. After agreeing on an offer, the victim would be given an APK file and asked to download the application.
After downloading the dodgy app, the victims would be asked to register their details before they can use the app. The information that was asked included their name, IC number, email, and even their credit card number. Upon filling in the information, a “page error” would be shown.
This would give the scammers the opportunity to move the victim’s money to their own accounts. The victims would only realise anything after checking their bank balance.
“With enough information, the scammers can transfer money from the buyer’s account without their knowledge. So far, five cases have been detected, with losses amounting to RM58,844,” said Datuk Mohd Kamarudin.
Three of the cases were detected in Johor, and one each reported in Penang and Sabah. Datuk Mohd Kamarudin advised the public not to download APK files sent to their mobile phones by unknown people.
With more malware scams reported recently, Maybank has been posting quite a few educational posts on social media. They’ve added things people should be wary of. This includes download links from unknown sources to install a third-party app, when your phone warns you that you would be downloading a malicious app, if it’s suggested that iOS users use an Android to use the app, when an app asks you for permission to be the default SMS app, and if the app asks you to fill in your bank log in details.
For added security, install anti-virus/anti-malware software in your devices and keep them up-to-date so you can be alerted of any suspicious activities on your devices. And if you need specific help trying to figure out the kinds of scams out there, Maybank has a pretty helpful rundown on malware and other things you should know about when it comes to security awareness.