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Cyber cops warn against clicking on deceptive Chinese New Year links
TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2023
People should avoid providing key personal data or clicking on links sent via SMS messages claiming that they have won a windfall, the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) said.
CCIB spokesman Pol Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said on Tuesday that con artists are using the Lunar New Year period to deceive people by claiming they have won “ang pao” or a cash present for Chinese New Year.
The scammers ask SMS recipients to provide them with their name, birthdate, mobile number, ID card number, bank account number, and credit card or debit card number as well as the three-digit number behind the card.
This data is then used to hack into the victim’s bank account or credit card account. The victim may also be asked for the OTP (one-time password) sent to their mobile phone to complete the transfers.
Krissana said scam artists can also use the key personal data to deceive the victims’ friends and relatives to wire them money or use it for other criminal activities.
The spokesman said the CCIB has stepped up crackdowns on call-centre gangs in line with the National Police chief’s policy.
The CCIB said people should be careful when clicking links sent to them by SMS because many people have lost money to call-centre gangs pretending to be revenue officials and asking them to install suspicious applications. These apps then hack their accounts and empty them.
The CCIB has provided the following advice:
• Avoid clicking on links attached to SMS messages or download apps as they may be embedded with malware
• Check the number of SMS senders to see if they really come from government agencies
• Carefully check web addresses or URLs
• Keep an eye out for websites or Facebook pages that have been designed to look official
• If you have provided key data to scammers, immediately change all passwords, especially bank accounts, emails and social media accounts
• Always install anti-virus applications
• Pass the warning on to friends and relatives.