Please watch out for the wedding invitation scam, and find out why you should NEVER install any APK file from strangers!
Find out what’s going on, and warn your family and friends!
Wedding Invitation Scam Gone Viral!
A new scam has gone viral on social media in Malaysia – the wedding invitation scam. In this scam, scammers contact their victims on WhatsApp, pretending to send them an APK file as a wedding invitation!
Here is the Malay version of the scam messages, and their English translations.
Dengan rasa kesyukuran, Menjemput Tuan ZAITON OTHMAN Ke Majlis Perkawinan Anak Kami
Sila Klik instal Apk untuk dapatkan kad kahwin digital kami ⬇️⬇️
Sila klik instal nampak kad kahwin digital kami 🙏, agar nak tau Siapa 😀
With gratitude, Inviting Mr. Zaiton Othman to our Son’s Wedding
Please click install Apk to get our digital wedding card ⬇️⬇️
Please click install to see our digital wedding card 🙏, to know who this is 😀
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Wedding Invitation Scam : Don’t Install APK File!
This is yet another example of a Mobile Application Scam, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : APK Is Android Installation File
First, it is important to know that APK files are not used to deliver wedding invitations, or photos and videos.
Short for Android Package Kit, an APK file is used to install software in Android devices. Think of it as the Android equivalent of an EXE installation file for Windows software.
Fact #2 : You Should Never Install APK File, Unless You’re An Expert
APK files, by definition, are merely installation files for Android devices. They can be used for legitimate purposes, as well as nefarious purposes.
However, legitimate Android apps are mostly delivered through proper mobile app platforms like Google Play Store and the HUAWEI App Gallery, where they are often scanned for malware before people are allowed to download and install.
Therefore, you should never download and install an APK file outside of legitimate mobile app platforms, unless you are an expert who needs to “sideload” an APK for a specific reason.
Now, this does not mean that only Android devices are vulnerable. Apple is slated to offer the ability to sideload apps too with iOS 17.
Fact #3 : Scammers Use APK Files To Install Malware
In most, if not all, cases where you receive an APK file from a stranger on WhatsApp, Telegram, through email or social media platforms, it is likely to contain malware.
Scammers use APK files containing malware to gain access to your phone. After you install these malware APK files, scammers can do anything – read your messages, steal your photos and videos, gain access to your TAC / OTP alerts, etc.
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Fact #4 : APK File Scam Not Limited To Wedding Invitations
These mobile application scams are not just limited to wedding invitations, or offers to deliver illicit photos and videos. Scammers have also convinced their victims to install these APK malware files to :
- book cheap temporary maid / cleaning services
- book cheap air-conditioning services
- book exclusive restaurants
- receive special discounts
- make investment transactions
Fact #5 : Scammers Use Social Engineering + Stolen Data
It is important to remember that scammers will use a combination of social engineering and stolen / purchased data to convince you to install their APK malware.
They may know your name, your MyKad number, your address and your telephone number. They may even know who is in your family, and even have your bank account or credit card details. All that information can be purchased from unscrupulous sources.
In some cases, scammers have taken over social media accounts and used them to trick the account holder’s family and friends into installing such APK malware files.
No matter who tells you to do it – even if they are your family member or friend, NEVER download and install an APK file.
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Fact #6 : Bank Negara Malaysia Warned About Mobile App Scam
Bank Negara Malaysia has long warned consumers about such mobile application scams.
Be wary of clickable hyperlinks that redirects you to a site, or downloads an application to your phone. Banks will no longer send you any clickable hyperlinks via SMS!
Only download applications from your smartphone’s official application platforms (e.g. Google Play Store, [Apple] App Store, Huawei App Gallery).
Fact #7 : PDRM Confirmed This Is A Scam
On Monday, 19 June 2023, PDRM Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) Director Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf warned the public about this wedding invitation scam:
This new tactic asks for an individual to open the link prepared to receive the wedding invitation. However, that’s the trick to steal information from the public and to make online transfer. The public are advised to avoid getting caught up in any message from questionable sources.
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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.
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