KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians lost RM179.3mil last year to cybercrime activities, said Deputy Finance Minister II Datuk Lee Chee Leong (pic) .
Quoting the figures from the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu), he said cybercrime was emerging as a serious economic threat.
“The number of active Internet users in the country has now exceeded 21 million, with 18 million active on social media.
“While this is bringing great social and economic benefits to the nation, it has also heralded the unwelcome trend of cybercrime.
“In this era of wireless technology and borderless networks, the future of corporate crime is certainly one without boundaries,” he said in his keynote address during the BAE Systems Business Defence Forum: The Financial Crime Front Line here yesterday.
Lee said high-stake illegal activities could be carried out through computers and mobile phones.
Meanwhile, on financial crime, Lee said there were 19,425 cases from January to August this year, an increase of 2,583 cases compared to the same period last year, with losses amounting to around RM1.3bil.
Statistics from the Commercial Crime Investigations Department (CCID) showed that there were 26,548 financial crime cases last year, a huge increase from 2015 with 18,647 cases, with total amount lost last year at RM1.96bil.
“In Malaysia, financial crime is referred to cases such as cloning of cheques, ATM and credit card fraud, ‘Fly by Night’ scams, Internet fraud such as spoofing, love scams, parcel scam, email hacking and money laundering.
“Although Malaysia is not a regional centre for money laundering, its formal and informal financial sectors are vulnerable to abuse by narcotic traffickers, financiers of terrorism and criminal elements,” said Lee.
He said the Government had allocated significant resources to address money laundering in the country.