KUALA LUMPUR: The ability of scammers to exploit technological changes and trap victims with new tactics are among the reasons cybercrime has increased by about 50% over the past two years, says Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.
"Since 2019 until 2021, such crimes are on the rise. In 2019, 13,703 cases were recorded with RM539mil in losses, followed by 17,227 cases in 2020 (RM511.2mil) and 20,701 cases last year (RM560.8mil), said the Inspector-General of Police.
He said public awareness on cybercrime, which he said was at "moderate" level also contributed to the increase in cases.
"There is a need to disseminate as much knowledge as possible to the community so they can avoid becoming victims of such criminal activities," he said in his speech before the launch of the virtual Financial Crime exhibition by the Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery on Monday (Sept 26).
Acryl Sani said loan scams, investment scams, Macau scams, African scams, business email compromised (BEC), email hacks and SMS scams are among the main financial crimes.
"A total of 12,092 cases have been recorded resulting in RM414.8mil in losses as of July this year," he said.
From 2019 until July this year, 33,147 suspects have been detained and some 22,196 cases have been prosecuted, Acryl Sani said.
"We believe syndicates will still use similar tactics but they will focus on young students and the youth in terms of illegal moneylending and mule accounts.
"We have cooperated with banking institutions to ensure investigations especially involving mule accounts can be completed faster," he said.
The IGP advised the public to safeguard their personal information and avoid downloading files or applications from unverified sources onto mobile devices.
"Account holders who encounter suspicious transactions involving their bank accounts should immediately notify their banks, contact the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) Scam
Response Centre at 03-2610 1559/1599 or BNMTELELINK at 1-300 88 5465 and lodge a police report," he said.
The exhibition lays out various types of financial crimes seen in Malaysia and how they have evolved over time. It features interactive exhibits that allow the public to simulate financial scam scenarios. Through the various exhibits, the public will be able to learn the Spot, Stop and Share (3S) strategy to protect themselves and others from becoming victims.
The exhibition seeks to educate members of the public against financial scams and can be accessed here (https://museum.bnm.gov.my/fce).