The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has apparently investigated five local telcos in relation to the SMS scam which has siphoned millions of Ringgit from prepaid users. For those who are not familiar with the scheme, certain content providers have apparently collaborated with telco personnel to gain profit by sending paid SMS without authorisation from customers.
These paid SMS usually contain interactive contents such as games, ringtones, and wallpapers. Once received by customers, their prepaid credit would be deducted immediately even though they didn’t send a request for such SMS or interactive contents in the first place.
However, the report by Harian Metro didn’t provide the name of the said telcos though. Nevertheless, it did also reveal that MACC managed to pinpoint almost 100 content providers that are involved in the scam which apparently has been taking place for the past 10 years.
In addition to siphoning almost RM 100 million from victims, these companies have bribed telco personnel to obtain users personal data. The data would then be fed into the SMS delivery system that sends the unauthorised paid SMS to victims. MACC has also learned that the scam is a highly organised scheme which involved not only telco insiders with a variety of rankings and roles but also offshore bank accounts.
Not only that, the personal data that was obtained illegally from the telco insiders has also been sold to other parties such as online affiliate marketing agencies. Harian Metro’s report also said that MACC will investigate other telcos too, so it seems that the arrest that took place earlier this year is just the beginning.
That being said, it is not known whether this massive offensive move by MACC has stopped the flow of the SMS scam or otherwise. If you have been affected by such SMS, you can check out the guide that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) posted here on how to notify the related parties and authorities regarding the SMS.