Social Engineering scams on the rise


Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the people during this COVID-19 who may be less vigilant.

The most common technique the cybercriminals use is to find the ‘weakness’ in human capacity rather than to look for technology loopholes.

We call this “social engineering” method to commit their crimes.

Social engineering is a method of cheating and manipulating someone to believe them whereby eventually the victim will share confidential or personal information.

After getting the personal information from you, the cybercriminals will use it for fraudulent purposes.

The scammer uses social engineering methods in a variety of means to carry out their attacks, some of which include:

Phishing – Sending out emails in an attempt to solicit private information.

Spear Phishing – A phishing attempted targeted directly at a particular person.

Baiting – Infecting a computer with malware after tricking someone into downloading free music or movies.

Spoof Websites – Clones of the real websites of trusted organizations in which cybercriminals can obtain the victim’s sensitive information.

Caller ID Spoofing – A caller falsifies their caller ID display to change their identity; when a victim answers, they use scam scripts trying to steal personal information.

The cybercriminals are smart enough to take advantage of someone’s natural tendencies or to elicit an emotional reaction of “act first, think later.”

During COVID-19, everyone is so eager for information and to know what is happening next.

Unfortunately, it gives an opportunity for cybercriminals to strike as people are looking out for information everywhere.

A number of social engineering attacks are aimed at individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises.

So one of the key methods is to be vigilant at all times, as the cybercriminals out there will find all new ways and possibilities making an attempt to crack the human weakness.

When you are not sure of something, do not call back the number given by the scammers or even dare to click the link pass on to you.

In Malaysia, we have the Malaysian Communication And Multimedia Commission where you can call or e-mail them to verify any source of information.

Secondly, if it’s in the pre-text of coming from a bank, it is wise to call the general and genuine bank line to confirm the source of information.

Thirdly, you may all together block and blacklist it under True Caller. Well sometimes you may receive from different numbers but just be cautious.

Finally, if the matter has gone out of control, do not hesitate to right away lodge a police report and specify clearly the incident.

Whenever we receive a call, SMS, Whatsapp message, Always remember to ask yourself whether this is genuine or not.

If you are not sure, do not take the risk and act wisely. Better report and get help from the relevant authorities

When we report the matter to the relevant authorities, at least they will be able to blacklist the common numbers used by fraudsters and easier to zoom in for further investigation.

Let’s do our part to be vigilant and be alert to any information, message, or even calls we receive.