KUCHING: Malaysia has reported a nearly 50% drop in reported online scams to 714 cases in the first quarterof 2013 from 1,321 cases in the same period last year
Bank Negara, which provided these figures yesterday, refers on-line scams to credit card frauds and Internet frauds such as “phishing” scams.
However, it did not reveal the total amount of money lost by the victims in these scams.
Bank Negara assistant governor Abu Hassan Alshari Yahaya said the central bank had managed to stop many people from falling prey to on-line scams and losing money to sydnicates after they sought its advice.
“We are receiving more calls to our (Bank Negara) hotlines from the public,” he told reporters when asked yesterday if the Association of Banks in Malaysia’s (ABM) e-Banking fraud awareness campaign launched three months ago had helped to raise public awareness of the online scams.
Abu Hassan had earlier chaired a dialogue session between Bank Negara, ABM and Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia with key representatives of chambers of commerce and business associations here.
The six-month campaign which kicked off on Jan 15 is aimed at creating public awareness on current e-banking scams.
Through the campaign, the public learn and understand the methods deployed by cyber criminals.
ABM executive director Chuah Mei Lin said the campaign messages were conveyed via various advertising platforms such as print, electronic and online media.
Participating banks leverage on their respective online presence to reinforce the campaign through the use of their branch networks for display of posters and distribution of pamphlets.
“It is important for bank customers to know the nature of the online scams. We are confident that this is the first step to reduce the number of such scams,” she added.
Chuah said the campaign targeted telephone, e-mail and SMS scams.
Among the common tactics used by the fraudsters was advising bank customers to transfer their money to temporary accounts as their current accounts and personal information were suspected to have been used for illegal money transfers.
Abu Hassan said the sydnicates used sophisticated approaches that instilled fear in customers, like their accounts were being investigated by the authorities and that to save themselves they had to transfer their money to another account as advised by them.
“Once you transfer the money to the account as advised, they will quickly withdraw the money using agents,” he added.
He said others had fallen for online scams as they believed that they were lucky to have won prizes but were advised to pay some advances or deposits before they could collect the prizes.
Abu Hassan said Bank Negara would continue to monitor the activities of these sydnicates who could change their modus operandi.
He said the public must know that the authorities would never ask for their personal details like their bank account number through email, phone calls or SMSes.
“Call us if you have any suspicion,” he added.