KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 4): Malaysia saw a drastic increase of online scams over the last two years during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Royal Malaysia Police’s (PDRM) commercial crimes investigation department (CCID), a total of 71,833 scams, amounting to more than RM5.2 billion losses, was reported from 2020 until May 2022.
From the total amount of scams, 48,850 or 68% were online scams, where 26,213 cases were prosecuted in court. 5,851 e-commerce scam cases was recorded in 2020 followed by 9,569 cases last year. Up to May this year, 3,833 cases were recorded.
The other types of scams include job scams (350 cases) and loan and investment scams (11,875 cases).
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) secretary general Datuk Azman Mohd Yusof shared that the ministry received 12,348 scam complaints as of June 30, 2022, where 4,114 of them involved online scam transactions.
The ministry also received 24,018 complaints regarding online fraud and electronic media scams during the pandemic from 2020 to Feb 17 this year, involving losses amounting to RM21.7 million.
“Most scams happen due to lack of comprehension and awareness on cybersecurity. This has become one of the main factors of cybercrime.”
“Constant advocacy and consumer awareness programmes are important to avoid the public from being scammed. I would also like to encourage the public to come forward and report [scams] so that appropriate action can be taken and avoid similar cases recurring in the future,” he said at Meta Malaysia’s second iteration of its #TakNakScam awareness campaign.
First launched in July 2021, the campaign aims to create awareness and educate the public on how to spot, check and report highly deceptive tactics employed by scammers. The campaign, which ran for five months, was well received by the public and reached a total of 6.7 million people with a total of 234,000 engagements via various campaign channels. During the campaign period, there was a downward trend in the number of scam cases reported.
This year, the #TakNakScam campaign is focused on the top five most prevalent online scams, which are e-commerce scams, illegal loans, job scams, investment scams and money muling.
Meta Malaysia’s country director Nicole Tan said Meta takes safety on its platforms seriously and is committed to continue the work to find new ways to reach out to everyday Malaysians and drive impactful conversations, raise awareness about the issue and encourage critical thinking so that people remain vigilant and empower them to take action to protect themselves.
“The campaign continues the call for the public to be vigilant with three simple steps: spot, check and report, that is, to identify, verify and report financial fraudsters,” she said.
“Our aspiration for the second iteration of the #TakNakScam campaign is that we continue to explore new ways and channels to reach Malaysians and keep our efforts in educating and equipping them with knowledge to avoid falling victim to online fraud, so that they can enjoy safer experiences on Meta platforms and online space in general.”
The #TakNakScam campaign partners include PDRM CCID, KPDNHEP, Securities Commission Malaysia, Bursa Malaysia Bhd, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, CyberSecurity Malaysia, The Association of Banks in Malaysia and Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations.