Cyber crimes are on the rise and the incidents are getting more sophisticated. In fact, during the first quarter of this year, MyCERT reported 1,850 cyber crimes with fraud, intrusion and malicious codes (malware) incidents taking the lead. With this on-going trend of over 600 incidents a month, we expect to see at least 7,000 cases reported in Malaysia this year.
You can help avoid becoming one of the statistics
Let’s look at how the top 5 online scams operate so that you are better prepared to recognize them.
What they want from you: Your personal information in order to access your money
Phishing, which is pronounced as ‘fishing’, baits a victim into giving out personal information, including user names, passwords, bank account details, credit card numbers,
IC numbers and more for malicious reasons. It is usually done over email, SMS, social media networks and mobile chat apps.
How phishing scams work:
- You receive an email or message that appears to come from a trusted source i.e., your bank, requesting you to click on a link to update/verify account information.
- The link takes you to a webpage that looks very similar to your bank’s site—but if you observe closely, the actual web address is not the official bank’s website.
- You are instructed to enter your log in details, with your user name, password, and other information before being automatically logged out.
The end result is that the scammers get your personal information, which they can use to steal your money, so remember not to click on any links that ask you to enter your personal information.
- The Nigerian Scam
What they want from you: Your money
This is one of the earliest and most popular online scams. It originated in Nigeria and many of us have received one of their emails at some point.
How Nigerian scams works:
- You receive an emotional appeal for help from a government body, heirs of the wealthy, or royalty members.
- They ask you to help them transfer money, but they require a small deposit for administration and legal purposes, for which you will be compensated later.
- If you respond by transmitting your initial deposit, they will keep asking for more money under the guise of more administrative costs.
The best way to avoid this kind of scam is not to get hooked in the first place.
- The Work-at-Home Scam
What they want from you: Your money and/or personal information
This type of scam preys on those who are looking for an honest and trusted way to earn extra cash from home.
How Work-at-Home scams works:
- You see an ad while hunting for work-at-home jobs that promises good earnings for simple types of jobs i.e., data entry or answering surveys.
- The catch is, you will have to pay for something—the application fee, a training package, a resume review, etc.
- From there, they will start requesting your personal information like bank account numbers and more.
Making extra money from home is a great idea, but keep in mind that no legitimate company would request money from you to apply for a job.
- The Lucky Draw Scam
What they want from you: Your personal information
Everyone likes to win a prize, but these days you have to be careful that the draws you enter are run by honest people.
How Lucky Draw scams work:
- You receive a message online saying “Congratulations, you’ve won an iPhone 7! Share this good news with your friends!”
- You visit the page and are asked to provide your personal information i.e., name, mobile number, email and physical address so that they can deliver the prize to you.
- Weeks go by and you don’t get your prize—but the scammers have received your personal information, which they can use for fraudulent means.
Since these kinds of fake online draws are so common, it’s best to try your luck elsewhere.
- The Pyramid/Ponzi Scheme
What they want from you: Your money
Devised by Charles Ponzi in 1919, a ponzi scheme or get-rich-quick scheme requires you to invest some money in return for interest rates much higher than fixed deposit rates. They also promise extra returns for every new member you bring in.
How Pyramid/Ponzi scams work:
- You invest some money and are promised a high interest rate every month as money is taken from each new member you recruit.
- But the scheme is unsustainable and the minute no new members are recruited, it collapses.
- Only the people at the top of the pyramid benefit and they are usually long gone before the pyramid scheme falls.
Like all the scams discussed in this blog, the best way to avoid being a victim of a pyramid/ponzi scheme is to thoroughly check out the company before disclosing any personal information.
How EZTakaful helps to keep you safe online
At EZTakaful, our website is safe to browse thanks to the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) technology we use and it helps protect your privacy while transmitting personal and payment information online. EZTakaful also complies with the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA) to ensure that your personal information is not shared with any third party.
Speaking of protecting you, EZTakaful offers a comprehensive protection plan worth over RM1 million for as low as RM10 a month. Our plan protects you and your family 24 hours a day wherever you are and you can customise it with valuable add ons to suit your lifestyle. For more information on our range of plans, go to EZTakaful.