Scam, Fraud, Phishing & Spear Phishing

Crackdown on scam phone calls which have netted $36 million this year

December 2, 2020 – They’ve become an increasingly frustrating presence in our lives, and now a new telecommunications code of conduct is vowing to reduce the number of scam phone calls and texts Australians receive every day.

The code, drawn up by the federal government and Australian Communications and Media Authority, places an emphasis on telecommunications companies identifying, reporting and tracing scam callers. Source: 9news

November 24, 2020 — As Jane Fleming lit the candles on her son’s birthday cake, she was preoccupied with a substantial sum of missing money — $51,000 to be precise.

“It was a horrible day. I just felt sick all day, just wondering where the 50 grand was,” she said.

It was on her son’s ninth birthday that she realised she’d transferred that amount into a scammer’s bank account. Source: ABC News 

Melaka, November 16, 2020 — The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) recorded 5,218 Macau Scam cases nationwide between January and October this year, involving estimated losses of over RM256 million.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director, Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob said from the total, 2,676 cases were solved by police and 1,420 cases charged in court.

“The victims are mostly women, involving over 3,000 cases, and most of them are over 51 years old. In general, the victims were placed under a lot of stress and afraid of being arrested and locked up, in addition to the fear of having their property seized. Source: BERNAMA

Source: Getty/Mailguard

November 6, 2020 — Millions of Australians have been targeted in a new email scam that purports to be from popular streaming platform Netflix.

The scam is designed to trick people into handing over banking and personal details in a phishing scam that asks victims to “update your payment details”.

The email looks as though it is a “reminder” sent from Netflix’ “Technical Support” team, and contains Netflix’ logo and branding to appear legitimate. Source: Yahoo Finance

November 5, 2020 — Cybersecurity researchers today took the wraps off an on-going cyber fraud operation led by hackers in Gaza, West Bank, and Egypt to compromise VoIP servers of more than 1,200 organizations across 60 countries over the past 12 months.

According to findings published by Check Point Research, the threat actors — believed to be located in the Palestinian Gaza Strip — have targeted Sangoma PBX, an open-sourced user interface that’s used to manage and control Asterisk VoIP phone systems, particularly the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) servers. Source: The Hacker News

Photo: Scamwatch, Australia

October 5, 2020 — Scamwatch has received over 4560 scam reports mentioning the coronavirus with over $5 118 000 in reported losses since the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Common scams include phishing for personal information, online shopping, and superannuation scams.

If you have been scammed or have seen a scam, you can make a report on the Scamwatch website, and find more information about where to get help. Source: Scamwatch, Australia

Sydney, Australia: September 24, 2020 — Two men have been arrested for their alleged involvement in an Australian-based fraud syndicate working to steal identities and money from thousands of Australians through a sophisticated SMS phishing scheme. Source: ESPC

Kota Baru, Kelantan: September 11, 2020 — The East coast state of Kelantan has recorded a worrying trend in ‘Macau Scam’ cases for this year, said Kelantan police chief Deputy Commissioner Shafien Mamat.

From January to early August, the police recorded losses amounting to more than RM5 million due to the syndicates in the state, Shafien Mamat said. Source: ESPC

On August 17, The Star Online reported that e-commerce fraud made up the highest number of scams during the movement control order (MCO) period, with such victims losing about RM17mil in that timeframe, the Dewan Rakyat had been told.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said said that there were five types of scams that the authorities and police viewed as serious. Source: ESPC

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: August 20, 2020 – E-hailing giant Grab has admitted that its app has been hacked by some driver-partners to “steal” rides from other drivers on its platform.

Describing the problem as a fraud, a Grab spokesman said the company was aware that some of its driver-partners are using illegal tools and modified apps to bypass the system and steal other driver’s bookings. Source: FMT

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: August 19, 2020 – Several fraudulent cases including the selling of counterfeit face masks online has resulted in more than RM100 million since the implementation of Movement Control Order (MCO) on March 18, said Deputy Home Minister 1 Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said. Source: ESPC

Malaysia: July 28, 2020 – An employee at an undisclosed tech company has received a deepfake audio impersonating the voice of its chief executive officer asking for assistance to finalise an “urgent business deal”, according to a security company that investigated the incident. Source: The Star

Malaysia: July 23, 2020 – Malaysian Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz has reminded the public to be more alert, not easily panic and check before making any financial transactions to avoid being a victim of an online scam, reported Bernama.

Recently, several cases of people being swindled huge sums of money, including a teacher who lost RM112,000 in a ‘love scam’, and a 90-year-old retiree who was conned of RM3.83 million in a Macau scam. Source: ESPC Chief Editor

Singapore: July 17, 2020 – A 48-year-old man was arrested on Thursday (Jul 16) for his suspected involvement in a series of renovation scams.

The police said they received multiple reports between December 2019 and July 2020 from victims who were allegedly cheated by the man. Source: Channel News Asia

Cybercrime police solve case in 3 hrs, recover Rs 10k

Aurangabad: July 14, 2020 – A city-based trader, who lost Rs 10,000 in a telephishing scam on Sunday, got his money back within three hours due to the timely action taken by city’s cybercrime police. Source: Times of India

Malaysia: July 12, 2020 – News about Malaysians falling victim to scams is quite common these days. A few days ago, a 90-year-old woman in Petaling Jaya had lost nearly RM4 million to individuals pretending to be the police. Now appears that syndicates are also getting aggressive in targeting BigPay users and several people have reportedly lost their money. Source Soyacincau