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How to recognise a scam call

Scammers and fraudsters are getting more creative in their attempts to steal information. One of the most popularly-used methods is scam calls, where the scammer calls up victims and uses various tactics to get them to reveal sensitive personal information, such as passwords, MyKad number, bank account numbers and more. Here are some warning signs of a scam call:

1. The caller tries to get you to reveal sensitive information

For example, the callers may reveal ‘bad news’ to you, such as pending tax payments, then put on a show of being helpful by offering to help you make the payment more quickly to avoid legal action. This is where they may ask for sensitive information such as passwords, account numbers and more.

2. The caller tries to frighten you with threats or bad news

The caller would try to make you panic so you’re not thinking straight and reveal sensitive information more readily and without realizing it.

3. You are told to transfer money immediately for an urgent pending payment

The caller may first pose as an officer from a government agency or some other reputable organisation to try and earn your trust. Beware if the caller sounds like they are trying to create a sense of urgency, especially for pending payments you are not aware of. Remember that if you have a real official matter that needs addressing, you should have received an official letter to your registered home or office address. In any case, do some research to find out the official contact numbers of the organisation the caller claims to be from and call back to check if you have any suspicion.

4. They claim to call from reputable companies, but the number looks suspicious

Multiple scam calls in Malaysia have been going around, with scam callers pretending to be officers from banks, the inland revenue department and so forth. However, people have reported that the numbers they call from look ‘unofficial’, such as generic phone numbers (big companies generally have numbers with multiple repeating digits) or even mobile phone numbers.

What to do if you suspect a call is a scam call

If you suspect that a call is not a genuine one, hang up immediately. If you would like to investigate further, do an online search for the company’s official contact number, then try calling back or sending an email to their official email address to verify further. Better still, walk in to the physical establishment if you are able to. If the caller tries to push, threaten or convince you to transfer money for any reason, don’t do it! Be sure to do your own investigation first to verify if the call was genuine. You can also ask for advice from family members or trusted friends after receiving such a call.

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