Who robs a bank anymore when you can just do it over a computer?
The digitalisation of everything in our lives enables cybercrime to spread like wildfire. The cybercrime business is no longer what you imagine; operations carried out in dingy basements by a group of computer geeks. Cybercrime can now go from being a structured, formalised industry with offices and employees. On the other hand, with ‘ransomware-as-a-service’ (RaaS) kits being sold on the Dark Web for a mere US$400 (RM1,624), the industry has a low barrier entry for any cybercriminal on the street.
The launching of the Multimedia Super Corridor in Malaysia back in 1996 was the government’s cyber-related development in transforming the country into a regional ICT hub.
In turn, many Malaysian government and commercial portals offering everything from administrative information, interactive and online communications besides financial transactions sprung up to cater to almost very need.
However, rapid changes and uncontrolled ICT developments have created challenges in the form of loopholes in current laws, economic development, political stability, and social/ racial well-being.
According to Bukit Aman’s Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Datuk Seri Mohd Zakaria Ahmad, the first half of 2019 saw 5,069 reports on cybercrimes involving RM250 million lost to the cybercriminals.
Macau scammers operate by pretending they are a police/customs/Bank Negara officer or a court or bank representative, and claiming the victim has a ‘problem’ with the authorities in the forms of outstanding summons, tax issues or loan or credit card arrears.
After striking fear in the victims, the scammer will ask for the victim’s personal and banking details, eventually tricking the victim into transferring money into the scammer’s account.
The scammer offers a non-existent personal loan to the victim. The victim will then be told that he has to pay a certain amount first to cover the loan processing fee, guarantor fee, stamp duty and insurance before the loan is credited to him.
Also known as the love scam/African scam/Nigerian scam.
The scammer targets victims on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, usually targeting singles, divorcees and widows. The online Romeo gains the trust of his victim by sweet-talking them and tricks the victim into believing that he has sent her a gift package which needs a ‘payment’ settlement to retrieve it from customs.
Unscrupulous online merchants offered by the merchants or direct-sellers who advertise them on social networking sites and online shopping platforms, which lack the consumer protection clout accorded by the industry. Once the victim’s payments are made, the scammers disappear without a trace.
Companies in developing countries like Malaysia are currently spending only 2% to 3% of the total information technology budget on cyber security, as compared to 10% among companies in the US and Europe.
If you have fallen victim to a cybercrime in Malaysia, you can lodge a report to the Cyber999 Help Centre, a free public service that provides emergency response to computer security related emergencies.
The report can be filed through a form online, e-mail, SMS, phone call, facsimile, through the Cyber999 mobile app or by walking into CSM.
All cybercrime-related incidents can be reported by calling 1-300-88-2999 or the 24-hour emergency helpline (019-2665850), faxing (03-80087000), SMSing CYBER999 REPORT to 15888 or by e-mailing email@example.com.
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