Hong Kong residents have been warned about a new phone scam that apparently seeks to extract personal data such as credit card number for illegal gain.
The scheme was revealed by a man who received a call from an unknown number and was asked to press “0″ on his mobile phone.
The man, surnamed Chan, told Sky Post that he received the call a few minutes after 8 a.m. on Thursday.
On the other end of the line was a pre-recorded voice, saying that the call was from HSBC. It said it wanted to inform him that his credit card had been misused and would be suspended in two hours.
Then the caller asked him to press “0″ on his mobile phone.
Chan said he did not follow the instruction because he did not have an account with the bank. He tried to call back but could not get through.
The number that registered on his mobile phone was 0085200852 with the country code of India.
A spokesman for HSBC said it had nothing to do with the call and reminded citizens not to provide any personal data if they receive such calls. He also advised them to report such cases to the police.
Leung Siu-Cheong, a senior consultant at Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre, said such a scheme involves massive amounts of calls to random numbers in the hope of connecting to potential victims.
Apparently, once a person follows the pre-recorded instruction and presses “0″, the signal will alert the caller to engage the would-be victim and extract from him personal information such as his name, credit card number and other data that could be used for illicit gain.
Bank of China (Hong Kong) said in a statement it has never tried to get or confirm customers’ personal information through pre-recorded calls, adding that it has notified the police and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority about potential phone scams.
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