return icon Vietnamnet.vn

Criminals target smartphone users

 VietNamNet Bridge – Hi-tech crime is on the rise, causing losses for individuals and organisations.

VietNamNet Bridge – Hi-tech crime is on the rise, causing losses for individuals and organisations.

Nguyen Van Manh, 70, in Ha Noi's Hai Ba Trung District recently notified Ha Noi police that he was swindled out of his entire bank account, which contained more than VND700 million.

Manh told the police unit fighting hi-tech crime that one day in late June he received a phone call saying his family had to pay a VND9 million fee (more than US$400) for using home phone services.

Manh was confused why the charge was more than 100 times higher than the usual fee of VND70,000-80,000 per month. The telephone caller asked him to press a key to be connected with a police officer to make his case. When he did so, the man on the other end asked Manh to provide his mobile phone number so that he could help him.

The man later told Manh to talk with his boss, who said the police were investigating a trans-national drug ring led by a bank employee, Nguyen Huy Hung, who had illegally used a number of bank accounts to buy heroin.

"The 'police boss' asked me about my bank account so that they could help me protect it. I told them that I had VND720 million ($33,800) in it," said Manh.

The 'police boss' then asked the elderly man to supply his savings book and send all his money into the 'police account' for investigation.

Manh withdrew all his money and sent it to the account supplied by the 'police boss', who told him not to tell anyone, including his family members. He promised to send back the money the next day, but when Manh heard nothing from him, he notified the high-tech crime police.

In June alone, 16 people were cheated out of more than VND13 billion ($604,000), said a police officer who declined to be named.

The official said the callers were often in mainland China, Taiwan and Malaysia and used VoIP technology to make the international calls.

Nguyen Van Duong in Ha Noi's Cau Giay District recalled how one day a person called him telling that he was his friend Phong.

"Phong" asked him to send a mobile phone card worth VND200,000 ($9.3) because he was in a business call and didn't have enough money to buy a card.

Duong run out to a shop near his house to buy the card and immediately sent it to Phong, who responded that he needed another VND500,000 ($23).

"I began to have some doubts and phoned my wife about the case. She told me to stop sending money to Phong. She tried to call him again but she received no reply," Duong said. "If it wasn't for my wife, I would have lost VND500,000 more."

He phoned Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and police in his ward to find out how to get his money back.

An official from VNPT told him that he should never send money to a strange caller. The police said it would be very difficult to get any money back because such scam artists typically use many SIM cards, making it hard to trace the call.

"Internet providers and relevant agencies should co-operate with mass media to inform the public about the cheating tricks of hi-tech criminals so honest people like me can know how to avoid being cheated," Duong said.

Dam Quang Minh, director of FPT College, said that discovering such criminals was very difficult.

"In order to catch them, we must understand what technologies they are using. Based on that information, the investigating office should be able to track down their IP address, but in fact the IP address is often abroad," Minh said.

The Ministry of Public Security's Department for Investigation of Economic Crimes recently arrested eight suspects for stealing million of US dollars via credit card.

Le Quang Minh of the Institute of Information Technology said these suspects belonged to international criminal chains that had illegally bought and sold credit card information via the Internet for years. Using phishing, spyware, keylogging and other techniques, they stole individuals' email addresses, credit card information and personal identifying information such as addresses and mobile phone numbers.

Recently, the police discovered a case where 14,000 smartphones were bugged, bringing in more than VND100 billion ($4.6 million) for the criminals behind the act, said Ngo Tuan Anh, deputy chairman in charge of network security company BKAV.

Each day, smartphone users have up to VND3.9 million ($182) stolen from them through this technique, according to the latest survey by BKAV.

Anh said that while such criminals could be fined under the country's criminal code, the best way to prevent such crimes was for Internet users to learn how to protect themselves.

VNA/VNN

MORE NEWS

President to pay State visit to RoK next week

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse will pay a state visit to the Republic of Korea from December 4-6.

Fansipan among five top destinations for mountain trekking at year-end

Renowned tourism website Women's Weekly of Singapore has named Fansipan among the leading five destinations to visit for mountain trekking at the end of the year, with the website noting the Vietnamese mountain’s impressive views.

Dortmund chiefs predict bright future for VN football

Although this was only a friendly game with many of the German stars absent from the starting eleven due to the Qatar World Cup, the victory gave the Bundesliga team food for thought about Vietnamese players.

International designers dazzle fashion fans in Hanoi

International designers left a deep impression on fans of fashion in Hanoi with hundreds of fascinating designs presented at the Aquafina VN International Fashion Week (AVIFW) Fall/Winter 2022.

Monthly Government meeting focuses on year-end key tasks

The Government has established working groups on liquidity and currency, the real estate market and corporate bonds led by deputy prime ministers to stabilise these markets.

Vietnam to reduce environmental impact of textile-garment industry by 2030

The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) has set a goal of helping Vietnam's textile and garment industry be more environmentally friendly by 2030.

Property brokers no longer manipulate prices as buyers become more cautious

As buyers have become more aware and careful about shady practices, real estate brokers have not been able to sell properties at prices much higher than their real value.

Hanoi to turn middle alluvium ground into park

One more park has been designed for Hanoians. However, it is still unclear when the project will appear, as a number of other projects are still on paper or pending.

Asian investors eye more M&A opportunities in Vietnam

Investors from Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), and Singapore are looking for more potential merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities in Vietnam, pinning high hopes on the long-term growth prospects of the market.

Vietnam's fishery exports exceed 10 billion USD in 11 months

Fishery exports reeled in 10.14 billion USD as of November this year, up 27% annually, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

HCM City want foreign doctors to be fluent in Vietnamese

The HCM City Department of Health has just proposed that foreign doctors should be fluent in Vietnamese if they want to work in the country.

Use of toxic e-cigarettes among students on the rise

After a trial smoke, T lost consciousness, was foaming at the mouth, and his limbs were curled up. Two days later, T regained consciousness at the hospital, but was still in the status of extreme fear.

Vietnam spends US$7.74 billion importing petroleum products

Vietnam imported over 7.5 million tonnes of oil and petrol worth around US$7.74 billion as of mid-November, up 24.1% in volume and 122% in value year on year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Vietnam won’t sacrifice the environment for economic growth: Prime Minister

Vietnam takes people as the goal in development. People will enjoy the fruits of a green economy and the government will not sacrifice the environment to pursue economic growth.

Vietnam’s bond market contracts amid monetary tightening

After strong growth in the previous quarter, Vietnam’s currency bond market contracted 0.2% due to a decline in the Government bond market and slower growth in corporate bonds.
back_to_top