KingStone Bookstore tops list of companies most used by scammers: CIB

11/22/2020 05:34 PM
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File photo courtesy of the police for illustrative purpose only
File photo courtesy of the police for illustrative purpose only

Taipei, Nov. 22 (CNA) The three companies that scammers most often claimed to be representing during the Singles' Day week was an online bookstore and two websites that sell electronics, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said Sunday.

During the week of Nov. 9-15, the CIB received 26 reports of scammers claiming to be from KingStone Bookstore, 17 from the computer and phone accessories site Adam Elements and 12 from 486 shop, a website that sells home electronics.

There was a slight increase in the number of scams that were reported that week, likely because scammers wanted to take advantage of Singles' Day, a shopping day that is observed annually on Nov. 11 when numerous companies have sales, the CIB said.

In the cases involving the three websites, the scammers all used similar tactics, the CIB said.

They would phone consumers pretending to be a customer service employee from one of the websites, and tell the consumer that something had gone wrong with their order or membership status, according to the CIB.

In order to "solve" these issues, the scammers would then instruct consumers to use an ATM or online banking system and input "special codes," which in reality transferred money to the scammers.

Another way the scammers extracted money from their victims was to ask them to buy game currencies. The scammers would then ask for the electronic serial number to gain access to the value of the currencies and sell them to other players for cash.

If the initial attempts to cheat people were not successful, the scammers would try to increase their credibility by following up with calls pretending to be from banks or the post office that confirmed the supposed problem and the way to solve it, the CIB said.

Although scammers change their tactics from time to time, they always require victims to use ATMs and online banking systems or buy game currencies, so people should beware of these requests, the CIB said.

At the same time, e-commerce sites should take steps to strengthen their information security and inform consumers when a hack occurs, the CIB said.

(By Huang Li-yun and Chiang Yi-ching)

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