Less than 50 per cent of scam victims in Malaysia report to authorities - Survey

23 Dec 2023 12:00pm
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF
Photo for illustration purposes only. - 123RF

KUALA LUMPUR - Less than 50 per cent of scam victims in the country seek help from the authorities, with a silent minority taking no action, a survey revealed.

According to the survey entitled Scams in Malaysia, conducted by Ipsos Malaysia on a sample size of 1,000 people, only 48 per cent of 657 respondents who fell victim to a scam with financial loss or almost fell victim to a scam but realised it before any financial loss occurred, reported it to the authorities. However, 12 per cent did not take any action.

A total of 39 per cent responded by contacting banks, seeking assistance from friends or family members (36 per cent), and posting it on social media (25 per cent), while some filed a complaint with consumer protection agencies (23 per cent), or consulted with a lawyer or legal adviser (10 per cent).

Country Service Line Leader, Creative Excellence at Ipsos Malaysia Kuan Sawu Fang, in a statement today, said a proactive and multifaceted approach is essential in tackling scams, which are exploiting the digital realm, signalling a shift in criminal tactics that jeopardises economic health.

"While the role of law enforcement is critical, empowering the public with education and advanced digital safeguards is equally important. The Malaysian government's decision to increase funding for the National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) is a promising step toward proactive measures.

"As we advocate for change, we hope to see the government harness these insights and take decisive action to combat scams. By doing so, we can ensure the security and stability of all Malaysians, paving the way for a future where our community is resilient against such threats,” she said.

The survey also discovered that the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) dominates scam reporting with 62 per cent. While the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, CyberSecurity Malaysia and Bank Negara were among the initial authorities to report, the volume of reports to them pales in comparison to those received by PDRM with 26 per cent, 24 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

An alarming three-quarters of the population was targeted, with an upsurge in the last quarter highlighting widespread vulnerability as 76 per cent of 1,000 respondents have encountered scams.

Related Articles:

A total of 51 per cent of respondents reported that they encountered scams in the past three months, 26 per cent encountered scams in the past month and 14 per cent encountered scams in the past one week.

The survey also revealed that phone calls and WhatsApp predominate scams as the increase in digital connectivity paves the way for scammers to exploit social media and communication applications.

According to the survey, 56 per cent of the respondents encountered scammers via phone calls, through WhatsApp (54 per cent), Facebook (31 per cent), Telegram (30 per cent) and short message service (SMS) (29 per cent). - BERNAMA