Facebook users have reported a new scam where conmen impersonate their Facebook friends to ask them for their phone number and subsequently scam them of money charged to their phone bill.
One netizen, Sharalyn Yeo, wrote that her father nearly fell prey to such a scam recently when he accepted a friend request from someone he thought he knew. The “friend” was actually a conman who had duplicated the Facebook profile of one of Yeo’s father’s friends.
The “friend” asked for Yeo’s father’s phone number before asking the unsuspecting Facebook user to send them a 3-digit pin that was sent to his phone, under the guise of participating in a contest.
In actual fact, the three-digit pin was likely a One-Time Password (OTP) that would have added unauthorised charges onto the victim’s mobile phone bill.
Yeo revealed online that her father, who is not so fluent in English, did not realise what he had nearly fallen for until it was almost too late:
“One of my dad’s friend had her facebook account duplicated and impersonated by someone and the impersonator is going around scamming others by asking for their mobile number and telcom name.
“As shown on the pictures that i have shared, the impersonator says that it’s just for a contest and would need the PIN. To be honest, my dad is not fluent in english, hence he didnt had his guard up. (He’s always been warning us of scam and today he fell victim to one)
“After sending the PIN, he realised the word “$59” (sibei singaporean) and thats when we thought, “SHIT! This is a scam” We proceeded with tracking down the company’s name (BOKU) and i wrote in to the support team to inform them of what had happened.
I was glad that the support team replied me almost immediately to resolve the issue and they managed to stop the transaction from going through. This has nothing to do with bank transaction but it will be added into your mobile bill.
“Everyone, please be careful of this new scam and do educate the others who are not so fluent in english, like my daddy, to be careful of this. Crisis averted!!!”
Several other netizens have reported that their accounts are being duplicated without authorisation while others have reported online that they were almost fleeced by scammers impersonating their Facebook friends in the same scam that is floating around on social media.
To avoid falling prey to such a scam, try not to issue your mobile phone to anyone who asks for it on social media. If you are unsure whether the person asking for your phone number is really your friend or a scammer, ask the person for their phone number and use that to verify whether they are really your friend.