Celcom has launched a new Awas Always campaign to try and tackle the rampant issue of phone scams that’s been plaguing Malaysians. The company is pushing this through both proactive and reactive methods by raising awareness as well as taking action against known scams.
The carrier is specifically focusing on four types of phone scams, namely voice phishing (vishing) wangiri, TAC scams, and SMS scams. Its campaign also explains in detail what each of these methods is and how to spot and avoid them.
In case you’re unfamiliar with these terms, vishing is when bad actors call you and claim to be from an official organisation such as your bank to try and get personal information out of you. Wangiri, on the other hand, is when a scammer will call you and hang up before you pick up. The idea is for you to call them back and then charge you insane fees for the call.
TAC scams happen when someone somehow obtains your credit or debit card details and when they need a TAC number to make an online purchase, they will trick you into giving them the TAC by saying they accidentally put in your phone number instead of theirs. Finally, an SMS scam is similar to voice phishing where scammers try to convince you to give out personal information by claiming to offer free rewards.
On the Awas Always page, Celcom encourages users to report scams if they or anyone they know are victims. The telco claims that from January to August 2022, it has managed to block over 130 spoof calls, seven million SMS scams, 330 wangiri, and over 600 scam websites.
Proper mitigation is desperately needed in the country to reduce the number of scam victims. According to PDRM, a total of 71833 scams, amounting to more than RM5.2 billion in losses, were reported from 2020 until May 2022. The figure seems to be increasing year over year with over 12000 reported cases between January to July this year alone.
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