Cyber crimes in Sabah worrisome, with losses amounting to over RM100mil, says CM

KOTA KINABALU: Cyber crimes in Sabah are worrying as cases have been increasing over the past three years with losses amounting over RM100mil, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

He said the state police recorded a total of 4,687 scam cases between 2020 and Sept 2023, which include phone scams, love scams, non-existent loan schemes, bogus investments and online trading.

“From all these cases, a total of 1,069 cyber crimes were recorded in 2020 while 1,169 in 2021, 1,206 in 2022 and 1,243 between January and September this year,” he said during the National Anti-Scam roadshow here, Saturday (Oct 28).

Deputy Chief Minister III Datuk Shahelmey Yahya delivered Hajiji’s speech.

With such worrisome trends, he said the state government was more committed to fighting this crime together with federal and security agencies.

“It is vital that those who fall for such traps online report their cases to the authorities immediately so that action can be taken as soon as possible,” he said.

Hajiji said accurate and timely information was needed to not only address the matter but also for the authorities to properly analyse criminal trends and find solutions to the problems at hand.

He said Malaysian authorities must work with international forces to exchange information and ideas in dealing with this ever-evolving online scam crime.

“Online cheating cases happen every day. We recorded losses of over RM24mil in 2020, more than RM25mil in 2021, and over RM21mil in 2022 whereas this year, the losses have already surpassed RM28mil,” he said.

“Online sales topped the list at 1,823 cases, followed by phone scams at 1,122 cases, fake loans at 817 cases, investments (603 cases), love scams at 158 cases and other computer crimes at 164 cases,” said Hajiji.

He said scammers would use multiple methods to dupe their victims, be it pretending to be police officials or from security or enforcement agencies, among many other ways.

In tackling the crime, a National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) was set up while laws are being fine-tuned to meet current situations, Hajiji said.

He urged the public to be mindful of the various tactics played by scammers online and to verify information first before going through with any online transactions.

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