Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cyber-crimes on the rise

Every now and again, we hear or read in the papers about people being scammed either in person or online. Indeed, cybercrime is on the rise and according to the Norton Cybercrime Report 2011, cybercrime is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide with more than a million people becoming victims every single day.The victims of cybercrime also paid dearly with a total loss of US$388bil (RM1.21bil) to ­cybercriminals in 2010.

Below is an email, received a number of times, of someone who almost fell victim. The thing to remember is, if something is too good to be true, it probably is.

Subject: New Cheating - you see RM200K in your bank account!

Beware times are bad!

Any cheque banked in into your account need a few days to transact. Although the amount appears in your account, but it's still pending for transaction, the person issuing the cheque can cancel the cheque at any time! A few days ago, one of my friends received a sms with the message: "You've strike 1st prize with a prize money of RM200,000 cash." The sms came with a contact no. My friend ignored it since he had heard of too many bogus scams using similar tactics. After a short while his handphone rang, a Miss Fang asked: "Sir have you received a sms telling you that you've strike 1st prize?" My friend answered: "Yes, I have"

Miss Fang: "Please let us have your bank account number so that we can deposit the money into your account." My friend thought, why not, let's see what you can do. My friend has a buddy who works in that bank. Hence, he gave her his account number. Ten minutes later, my friend's handphone started ringing again. Miss Fang said: "Sir, we have deposited your prize money into your account, please check and verify." My friend checked using his handphone and found that RM 200,000 was really deposited into his account. He was euphoric, just like that and he's RM 200,000 richer!

30 minutes later, Miss Fang called again. She was crying: "I'm sorry sir, I made a mistake, I forgot to deduct the tax before I deposited the prize money, 20% of RM 200,000 equals to RM40,000. Now the company wants me to reimburse the money. Can you please return the RM 40,000 tax? I beg you." My friend thought for a while and felt pity for the lady. Thinking of the money in his bank account, he went to the bank. Suddenly he thought of his buddy working in that bank and decided to ask his buddy to double check and confirm with him first. Upon checking, his buddy found out that the money was deposited using a cheque of a different bank.

Even though the cheque was deposited but the actual amount of money can't be transfered into his account on the same day. If the other party decided to cancel the cheque, then he'll not get this RM 200,000. My friend was shocked. He almost lost RM 40,000. Before my friend left for home on that day, the cheque was actually cancelled. If not for his buddy, if not for him being a professional, or if he was cared of letting others know of striking the prize then this bogus scam would be successful. This is a true story, please beware. Future scams could be even better planned. Please don't forget to forward to your friends and relatives to warn them from being cheated.

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