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  • Led Wayline

Malaysian Scammer Victims Lost RM1.6 Billion in Total Since 2019

Updated: Mar 19, 2022

Scammer activities have become a growth trend for Malaysia – so much so that victims of these scams lost RM1.6 billion in total with over 51,000 reports being lodged. These illegal and illicit activities span across the 2019 to 2021 period.

Credit: Bank Negara Malaysia

These findings were part of the response from Deputy Home Minister II of Malaysia, Jonathan Yasin. He was addressing a question from another fellow Member of Parliament during the 14 March sitting of the Lower House for the Malaysian Parliament. These losses mostly consist of online scams.

Yasin revealed that online purchases contributed to the highest number of complaints, totalling 18,857 reports. Non-existent loans followed closely behind, with 15,546 cases.

Police are currently carrying out efforts to combat scam syndicates, including stepping up law enforcement operations and reviewing current laws in use. This includes looking at existing regulations, such as the Consumer Protection Act 2007, to ensure they remain relevant.

"Various efforts were carried out by the police to combat scam syndicates including beefing up law enforcement, operations, arrest and prosecution on those involved in fraud,” Yasin shared.

Credit: Royal Malaysian Police Force

The minister also confirmed that the police are ramping up their efforts to combat these scamming activities. This includes rolling out an official Facebook page that raises general exposure to fraudulent investment schemes and a new web-portal and mobile app, both of which provide the general public with new ways to check telephone and bank account numbers that criminal syndicates use.

“(Relevant law) reviews have also been carried out to ensure they can be applied to current issues. This includes working with Malaysia’s Central Bank and discussing multiple solutions with various private sector players and non-government organisations,” Yasin added.

Notably, police have already been very active in tracking bad actors from 2019 to 2021, as they made 26,349 arrests and filed 16,029 charges from these illegal operations. At this point, it's a neck-and-neck race between cyber-criminals and the digital arms of the law.

  • From 2019 to 2021, Malaysian businesses lost RM1.6 billion, with 51,631 scam cases being reported

  • Online purchase scams have the highest recorded cases – 18,857

  • Police managed to catch 26,349 arrests and are now looking at revising certain laws

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