Are MySejahtera messages sent through the 68808 SMS service really a scam?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : MySejahtera 68808 SMS Messages Are A Scam!
People are sharing this warning on social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, as well as in WhatsApp and Telegram groups :
MySejahtera 通过 68808 发送短信要求用户 重置资料，请不要点击链接，这是钓鱼陷阱 骗局。
MySejahtera sending sms through 68808 to ask users to reset, pls do not click link. It’s a scam.
MySejahtera 68808 SMS Messages Not Necessarily A Scam!
Many Malaysians are rightfully wary about clicking on links sent by SMS or WhatsApp.
There have been many scams involving fake SMS or WhatsApp messages, which we covered here in Tech ARP :
- Scam Alert : Nespresso 2022 Mother’s Day Contest!
- Scam Alert : Petronas 50th Anniversary Survey Contest!
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- Scam Alert : CIMB Customers Hit By Fake SMS Messages!
- Scam Warning : Public Bank Customers Hit By Fake SMS!
However, Malaysians are also too gullible, accepting all warnings on WhatsApp as genuine, without first verifying if they are even true.
Here are the reasons why the MySejahtera reset messages delivered by the 68808 SMS service are not necessarily a scam!
Fact #1 : 68808 Is Used By MySejahtera
Despite what people may tell you – 68808 is an official SMS service number used by MySejahtera.
In fact, MySejahtera uses three SMS service numbers to send you notifications (like your vaccination appointments), as well as your password renewal link :
Fact #2 : 68808 Messages Are Generally Legitimate
Despite what is shared on social media, messages sent through 68808 are genuine. What you need to be wary of are SMS messages sent via other numbers.
Take a look at this example of fake news shared on social media, and some websites. It was touted as an example of fake MySejahtera messages sent by 68808.
The truth is “original” message was sent through 63839, which is not a legitimate MySejahtera SMS service. The “fake” message was sent through 68808, which is a legitimate MySejahtera SMS service.
In this misleading example, you can also see a prior SMS message on vehicle servicing in the 63839 channel. Official MySejahtera SMS channels (68808, 68088 and 63001) will only show messages from MySejahtera, not other services.
Note : The links in both messages appear to be genuine, linking to https://mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my/.
Fact #3 : MySejahtera Sends Reset Links Via SMS
Despite what social media “experts” may tell you – MySejahtera will send password reset links through SMS, as a verification method.
If you are trying to reset your MySejahtera password (because you forgot it), you will be sent an SMS message with a link to https://mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my/, as the example above shows.
Fact #4 : SMS Messages Can Be Spoofed
That said, SMS messages can be spoofed to appear to come from the three legitimate MySejahtera channels – 68808, 68088 and 63001.
So you should avoid clicking on MySejahtera password reset links, even from legitimate channels, unless you have specifically asked to reset the MySejahtera password.
Fact #5 : MySejahtera Team Clarified This In April
The MySejahtera team actually refuted these false claims in April 2022. Unfortunately, people still continue to share this fake news.
So please help us fight fake news – share this fact check with your family and friends!
How To Avoid MySejahtera (Or Other) SMS Scam!
So here is what I recommend when it comes to SMS messages, whether they were sent by MySejahtera, banks, etc. :
- Always check to make sure they come from legitimate SMS channels. For MySejahtera, that’s 68808, 68088 and 63001.
- If you are not sure about an SMS message from the authorities / banks / telcos, please do not hesitate to call them to verify the authenticity of that message.
- Never click on a link to log into a website (like your bank). Always use your banking app, or log in manually using a Internet browser on your computer or phone.
- Only click on a link in specific circumstances that do not require a login – for example : to verify your request to reset your MySejahtera password.
- Do NOT click on any link to confirm that you are resetting a password, or confirm your new SIM card, unless you just requested to performed those actions.
- Before you click on a link, always check the link goes to the official website (like https://mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my/). Never click on a link that goes to suspicious websites.
I hope this article helps you differentiate between fake claims circulating on social media and WhatsApp groups, and proper cybersecurity measures we should take to prevent being scammed of our hard-earned money!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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