SMS scam artists still at it: Beware, be smart

PETALING JAYA: Maxis has advised the public not to respond to SMSes informing subscribers that they had won a cash cheque from the telco.

A Maxis spokesperson reminded the public to ignore SMSes that carried foreign or unusual short codes.

A concerned reader had informed The Star of receiving an SMS that named the mobile service operator.

"I received an SMS telling me that I had won an RM11,000 cash cheque from Maxis and was even asked to log on to its website to confirm my winnings.

"In addition, a foreign 15-digit phone number was given for me to call to. Out of curiosity, I called the number but quickly hung up when they asked for my bank account number," said the reader.

She added that the operator on the line also stressed that she needed to have a Maybank account to cash in on her winnings.

Another similar case was also reported by an executive who wished to be identified as Lim, only the cash cheque was worth RM9,000 instead.

"It was definitely too good to be true, and right away I could tell that the SMS could not be trusted, although a leading telco's name had been used.

"Besides, promotions sent by telcos would usually be received on my phone as an SMS which bears a five-digit short code and not the foreign number which I received," said Lim.

Short-code are five digit numbers provided by telcos to external content providers in order to send their offerings via SMS.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) corporate communications head Adelina Iskandar warned the public not to fall for such an obvious swindle.

"Using a reputable telco's name in an SMS scam is nothing new. Similar cases were also reported late last year involving the use of two major telcos' name.

"The public must be wary and wise up to such offerings. If it is too good to be true, then it probably is," said Adelina.

The Star


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