KUALA LUMPUR- Scammers are not just phishing on the Internet, now mobile phone users are also targeted with a malware virus dubbed Zeus.
The scammers send text and WhatsApp messages containing just an Internet link.
When mobile phone users click on the link, the virus is installed on their phones.
Zeus, which is activated when the user performs Internet banking, presents a fake Internet page.
Instead of the regular home page of the bank, several pop-up windows appear, requiring the user to fill in their personal details.
After this, the phone will be synced with the scammers' computers, enabling them to obtain details such as the transaction authorisation code (TAC).
Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department deputy director Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Hamza Taib said at least eight people had lost more than RM59,000 ($23,000) this month to the scam.
"One victim lost RM10,000. Most of the cases occurred in the Klang Valley," he told a press conference yesterday.
He explained that those vulnerable to the malware were the ones using BlackBerry and with phones running the Android and Symbian operating systems.
"One of the ways to prevent this is to constantly scan the phones using an anti-virus programme. Once infected, the only way is to reset the phone," he said.
He said victims discovered they were targeted when banks sent notifications about financial transactions.
He said the police had already tracked down an account number belonging to a syndicate.
"We hope to catch the syndicate members soon."
In a separate case, eight men were detained for being involved in a spoofing scam.
CCID officers stumbled upon the syndicate following a raid on an apartment in Jalan Alor on Sept 10.
SDCP Hamza said the syndicate duped its victims by informing them that they had won a travel holiday package to New Zealand and Australia worth US$150,000 ($190,000).
"The victims were required to pay a certain amount to claim the prize.
"The suspects, aged between 25 and 31, have been questioned and released on police bail," he said.