Scammers have advanced from fraudulent text messages in English to calls in fluent Maltese, with GO receiving reports of clients answering calls from someone posing as an Enemalta official.

Over the past two weeks, the communications company has received at least four official reports of a person informing clients of a hefty ‘pending bill’ that needs to be settled immediately.

Otherwise, the caller warns, in fluent Maltese, Enemalta would proceed to disconnect the electricity supply.

GO believes that such calls are widespread and a lot of people either dismiss the scam calls or have given up on reporting them.

The telecoms company has alerted the police about this most recent type of scam, Fraud Prevention Officer Charmaine Galea Triganza said.

An Enemalta spokesperson meanwhile told Times of Malta that the utility company was aware of the scam calls.

It warned that it only contacted clients from its freephone number 8007 2224 and never asked for bank details over the phone.

Hang up, call company through official number

“Clients need to be very vigilant as fraudsters keep reinventing the wheel. In this case, we know that utility bills are paid to ARMS and that Enemalta is only the supplier of electricity and will therefore not deal with clients’ bills,” Galea Triganza said, urging people to question requests for immediate payment.

“The devil is in the detail. One of our clients realised it was not a genuine call as the utility services are in her husband’s name. However, it is understandable that when one is being threatened with a power cut, they might go into panic mode and overlook certain details.”

GO urged people to remain extremely cautious about requests for personal details, passwords or online payments.

Galea Triganza suggested informing the caller that they would be returning the call, hang up, call the actual company through its official numbers and verify the details with a representative. 

Earlier this year, GO told Times of Malta it had witnessed a spike in fraudulent messages. Scammers have started using technology that allows their victims’ phones to display a legitimate number from GO.

Known as ‘number spoofing’, the number from where the scam originates is masked by a fake one on the caller ID display, leading the customer to believe that the call is from a trusted source.

Claiming to be GO representatives, the scammers then ask receivers to download software or provide personal, banking or PIN details, information that the company never asks for over the phone.

A police spokesperson said the scams were being investigated.

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