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Don’t respond to offers that sound too good to be true, police warn

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People should beware of phishing SMS messages and avoid revealing sensitive information as it may end up costing them far too much, the Royal Thai Police spokesman said recently.

Pol Colonel Siriwat Deepor, deputy chief of the Police Technology Crime Suppression Division, said many people have filed police complaints or told the press about how they were deceived by offers of cash handouts and free Covid-19 vaccines.

Phishing is a fraudulent move to obtain sensitive information or data such as username, passwords, credit card numbers or other sensitive details by pretending to be a trustworthy entity. It is typically carried out via spoof emails, instant messages or text messages, which direct users to enter personal information at a fake website that matches the look and feel of a legitimate website.

Phishing is derived from the word “fishing”, in this case, wrongfully fishing for sensitive information.

“Since banks and financial institutions have a security system that effectively keeps out hackers, criminals usually claim knowledge of account-related issues in a bid to get sensitive information. Once they have such information, they can withdraw cash from victims’ accounts,” Siriwat explained, adding that police have launched a manhunt for such criminals.

He advised people to closely study the link or URL in the SMS as it usually sounds weird and does not match the name of the institution the phishers claim they are from. Don’t press the link and call the related agency’s call centre if possible, he said.

“You should also opt for passwords that are difficult to guess and set up a two-step verification procedure,” Siriwat added.

He went on to say that anyone caught phishing will face punishment under the Computer Crime Act, Gambling Act and Excessive Interest Rate Prohibition Act.

Published : April 20, 2021

By : The Nation