Protect yourself

According to the police, there have been 15 cases of iTunes scams as of this month.

Scammers usually gain access to a victim's mobile messaging application account, mostly through Line.

The culprit, posing as the victim, would send out messages to the phone numbers stored in the victim's mobile messaging application contact list.

These messages would usually ask the victim's friends to buy iTunes gift cards on his behalf, and to send the redemption codes over the mobile messaging application by taking a picture of it.

After assuring the victim's friends that the money would be returned, the friends would agree.

By the time the ruse is discovered when the friends call up the victim, the gift cards would have been fully redeemed by the culprits.

The victim would also discover that he was unable to access his mobile messaging application account using his existing password.

So what should one do when one encounters something suspicious?

1 Never accede to any request to make purchases or assist in any transaction before checking its authenticity, especially if it sounds suspicious or unusual.

2 Alert the account holder by contacting him directly when you receive messages of such nature. This will help you to check if he had indeed sent the messages.

3 Alternatively, questions with answers only known to both parties, such as the name of the school attended together or details of mutual friends or family members, can be posed for verification.

4 Be extra careful in dealings over mobile messaging platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype or Line.