Scams plaguing Malaysians with 68 cases daily

Over 125,000 online fraud cases reported in the past 5 years (2019-2023)

10 Feb 2024 07:02am
Online fraud costs Malaysians over RM4.1 billion in 5 years - FILE PIX
Online fraud costs Malaysians over RM4.1 billion in 5 years - FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - Online fraud has seen a surge in cases, recording 125,387 incidents with victims facing losses exceeding RM4.1 billion over the past five years since 2019.

The various types of online fraud encompass telecommunications crimes, e-financial crimes, love scams, e-commerce crimes, nonexistent loans, and nonexistent investments.

The statistics reveal an average of 68 cases reported daily, with at least two cases documented per hour during this period, highlighting the pervasive nature of the issue.

Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) Director Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf shared these alarming figures, stressing the evolving modus operandi of online fraud and the need for updated legal measures to combat these crimes effectively.

The breakdown of losses for the year 2023 indicates that nonexistent investments accounted for the highest losses at RM472 million, followed by telecommunications crimes (RM352 million), e-commerce crimes (RM204 million), e-financial crimes (RM105 million), love scams (RM43 million), and nonexistent loans (RM40 million).

"Total losses in 2023 due to online fraud continue to rise to the highest figure of RM1.2 billion with 34,495 cases," he told Sinar in an exclusive interview recently.

Ramli highlighted key factors contributing to individuals falling victim to online fraud, including a lack of knowledge, exposure, apathy, and insufficient information about these scams.

He stressed the role of greed as scammers exploit victims' financial sentiments, particularly in e-commerce, telecommunications, and nonexistent investment crimes.

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“Greed is also a contributing factor, as scammers exploit victims' financial sentiments, especially in e-commerce, telecommunications, and nonexistent investment crimes,” he added.

Changing Modus Operandi

Ramli also revealed that the modus operandi of online fraud evolved with technological advancements.

"It must be remembered that this crime is evolving tremendously in line with current technological developments.

"There is no denying that some improvements need to be made to ensure that the law used is appropriate to the current commercial crime situation," he said.

Ramli pointed out that social media plays a significant role, with scammers leveraging the platforms to target victims.

He stressed that public awareness and knowledge are crucial weapons in combating online fraud, as prevention at the early stage is the most effective measure.

"This is because, when a crime occurs, even if the perpetrator can be brought to court, the value of the loss suffered by the victim is very difficult or almost impossible to recover.

"Early-stage prevention is the most effective action to ensure that a person does not trap and become a victim of this crime," he said.

According to Ramli, as of January 20, 2023, there have been 2,254 reported cases of online fraud with losses totaling RM91.3 million.

“This period shows the trend of telecommunication crime among the highest when 919 cases were recorded with a loss of RM29.9 million.

"In addition, there were 549 cases of e-commerce crime with losses of RM4.5 million, non-existent investments (374 cases) with losses of RM50.5 million, non-existent loans (277 cases) with losses of RM3.2 million, e-financial crimes (93 cases) with a loss of RM1.4 million and love scam (42 cases) with a loss of RM1.6 million," he said.

Ramli urged the public to stay vigilant, avoid confirming personal details to suspicious individuals, and pay attention to continuous messages and information shared by JSJK through platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.

"The public is urged always to check and not ignore the messages and information shared by JSJK continuously through JSJKPDRM and CyberCrimeAlert Royal Malaysia Police, TikTok (JSJKPDRM) and Instagram (CyberCrimeAlert Royal Malaysia Police)," he added.


Case statistics

Year Number of Loss cases

2019 17,668 RM769,030,105

2020 21,488 RM657,528,391

2021 26,257 RM698,435,532

2022 25,479 RM851,121,636

2023 34,495 RM1.2 billion


- Telecommunication crime: Refers to phone scam cases, online impersonation, SMS fraud and online gift offers

-E-financial crime: Refers to cases of BEC (business email compromise), hacking, TAC number fraud, phishing.

-E-commerce crime: Refers to fraud in online buying and selling transactions.

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