Scammers are using fraudulent Maltese numbers and official identities, including police officers, to fool people into handing over their personal details.
Lovin Malta has spoken to scores of people who have fallen victim to attempted scams, many of which see a person posing as a state authority to convince targets to hand over crucial information.
One particular case sees an individual pretending to be an officer in the police force or money laundering department telling the target that they must pay a fine for breaching regulations or that they are subject to an arrest warrant.
In another, the scammer pretends to be a representative from Identity Malta, informing the victims that their ID card was due to expire and need to pay a fee to address the issue.
In both instances, the person directs the victim to press number one for more details. Once the victim hits the digit, the scammer has immediate access to the person’s information.
The police have received at least 150 reports of the case, some of whom fell from the scam.
Speaking to the newsroom, police explained that in the absolute majority of cases, scammers are able to target Maltese numbers using generic terms to address the recipient.
These types of scams are relatively easy, police said, since the format of telephone numbers as well as the prefix used for local numbers are both publicly available.
In these cases, fraudsters are able to call or send large amounts of SMSs to different mobile numbers without the need of having a list of local numbers.
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