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Watch out for instant messaging scam!

  • Date: 2018-07-06
  • Issued by: Civil Service Ethics Office

An introduction to instant messaging scam and prevention!

As online communications are getting more and more advanced, instant messaging and social networking have become an indispensable part of daily life. People who have been so accustomed to text chatting are usually oblivious to the account users on the other end of the network. Capitalizing on this characteristic, the fraud syndicates in cooperation with hackers may steal the passwords from your online accounts (such as MSN, Yahoo Messenger, Skype and Facebook) and use your identity to cheat people on your contact list. It was a common practice in the early days that the fraudsters asked your friends to remit money to them. Nevertheless, as online games develop rapidly nowadays and game currency and treasure trading are becoming more popular and convenient, the fraudsters may ask your friends to buy game points, cheat them of the transaction numbers and passwords, exchange the game points into money through the game treasure trading platform, and run away with the illegal proceeds. If we examine those scams closely, most of the accounts and passwords are stolen by Trojans and phishing sites erected by hackers in cooperation with the fraud syndicate. The stolen accounts and passwords are then analyzed by data-mapping techniques to screen out those which are most likely to be tricked successfully. The screened accounts and passwords are then modified so that the original account users cannot log in for a period of time during which the fraudsters are cheating the friends of the original account users.

Ways to protect yourself

The police urge the computer users to establish the concept of information security. Hackers often trick users to download their pirated software, documents, PDF files, and audio and video files, which they have put in Trojans. They may also send you e-mail or instant messaging software and try to persuade you to link to the webpages or phishing sites that they have already put in computer worms or malicious codes. It is thus strongly suggested that computer users do not download any unknown computer files and open unknown web links so as to reduce the risk of account password being stolen. If you feel doubtful about the situation, it is best to immediately call 165 anti-fraud hotline for verification.

  • Date : 2015-02-11
  • Hit: 8