KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 314 cases of online fraud involving more than RM2 million were recorded for the January to March period this year, said Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Datuk Mohd Kamarudin Md. Din.

He said the modus operandi of the syndicate was to hack social media accounts such as Whatsapp, Telegram, Facebook, and others belonging to certain individuals and then pose as the account users’ friends or acquaintances through social media.

The imposters would then contact all friends of the original account owner to borrow money.

“From early this year, the syndicate began hacking Telegram accounts of their victims and obtained a list of the victims’ friends to borrow money.

“The actual owner of the Telegram account would only realise the scam when they could not access or receive calls from contacts asking about the validity of the loan they requested,“ he said in a statement today.

As a precautionary measure, Mohd Kamarudin advised Telegram account users to activate the “two-step verification” security pin setting in their respective Telegram accounts.

He said that through the setting, the security level of the Telegram account will be enhanced thus preventing criminals from activating the account through other devices.

“The public is also advised not to easily believe the messages requesting money from contacts, especially when it involves borrowing money as well as bank accounts used by other individuals,“ he added.

For further information, the public can contact the CCID Scam Response Centre at 03-26101599. - Bernama