Dealing with scammers in Malaysia is becoming a more prevalent issue than it ever was. Whether through email, texts, browsing history, and many other ways, they are able to collect our personal information for their own use and, even worse, our own money.
Digital banking has made many people’s lives so much easier but has also left them with specific problems. Account fraudulence and hacking have surfaced throughout the years and have caused a nuisance in this industry.
If you have been scammed in Malaysia, the first thing to do is contact the bank or credit card company. Then, file a report at the Federal Trade Commission, local police, and Ombudsman for Financial Services.
However, there are other things you can do when dealing with scammers. There are also several ways that you can do to prevent being scammed in Malaysia.
Since a massive chunk of the Malaysian population uses digital banking and e-wallet services, we came up with a list of the things you should do when encountering such problems.
What are the types of scams in Malaysia?
Malaysians have been using online banking, investments, crypto trading, and many other online transactions more and more today. But unfortunately, scammers have been more creative in finding ways to get to your money due to this accessibility.
Sadly, people are still continuously becoming victims of this fraud, so we’ve listed below the most common types of scams in Malaysia.
- EPF scams – The EPF or Employees’ Provident Fund scam has been doing rounds online. They send false text messages to monthly contributors, claiming their accounts will be blocked if they don’t provide their personal information.
- Illegal loans – Scammers pose as lenders with low-interest loans and other generous offers, only requesting a processing fee for everything. After the transaction, they block the recipient’s number and will no longer be contactable.
- Macau scam – Macau Scams aren’t as regular as other forms of scams, but the damages can get really high when they occur. Scammers impersonate people with a direct connection to the bank, bank officer, customs officer, police, etc.
They then tell victims that their account is compromised, which means they should transfer the victim’s money to other accounts. Afterward, the impersonater will no longer be available to contact.
- Scratch and win scams – Scratch and win scams are a simple yet effective way scammers trick people into thinking they’ve won a hefty amount of money directly.
By providing their own scratch card, they let the victim know they’ve won. Still, for the prize to be collected, a small collection fee will first be required to get the money that was never given in the first place.
- Investment scams – Investing schemes that seem too good to be true usually are. These are investments that guarantee immediate or a high percentage of return which is never the case for a typical and legitimate investment.
1. Check your devices that have your personal information for any breaches
The leakage of your personal information and other important details is not always under your care. Data breaches have become more relevant in recent years and have already affected millions.
A data breach is when hackers can gain access to the users’ database. This data contains all sorts of information, including your credit card details, personal details, and other important things.
You should first check your accounts that hold valuable information. This may include emails, social media accounts, bank accounts, online e-commerce sites, and many others.
Most of the time, this is where hackers get your information to use for themselves.
If your password has been breached, chances are your details and other things have also been taken.
A good thing to do is constantly change your passwords or think of a strong password that is almost impossible to guess. Also, avoid clicking links on suspicious emails and messages to prevent your accounts from being breached.
2. Contact the bank or company where your credit or debit card is from
Most scams and hacks done by IT experts are done to get someone’s banking information. Luckily, your accounts are easily accessible to you, making it easier to check your account for recent transactions, current bills, and many others.
By contacting your bank, you’ll be able to get a more detailed overview of what purchases have been made and where they were done. Besides this, your bank can temporarily freeze your assets or take immediate action, involving you as the card owner.
Most banks nowadays can be reached online or by going directly toward others. By consulting with a customer service agent or someone else in the field, you’ll be able to gauge what damages have been done.
Below is a list of the banks that have a 24-hour landline where you can report your case:
|Maybank||+603 5891 4744|
|CIMB Bank||+603 6204 7788|
|Public Bank||+603 2177 3555|
|HSBC Bank||+603 8321 5400|
|OCBC Bank||+03 8317 5200|
|UOB Bank||+03 2612 8121|
|Ambank||+03 2178 8888|
Outside of checking your devices and accounts for where the breach might come from, you can also file a police report. Filing an official report makes your concern official, and any evidence found will be on record.
Also, filing a police report is a way for the local police department to start an investigation regarding your case.
Another reason this is a good move is that it involves departments specializing in financial and cybercrime and other related fields. So, depending on the severity of your case, the investigation can be prolonged for the best results.
If all aspects are favorable, the investigation can even result in the capture of the culprit of said crimes.
Call the numbers below to report the case as soon as possible:
|The Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) Scam Response Centre||03-2610 1559/1599|
4. Confront whoever may have accessed your information
While it’s easier said than done, confronting whoever hacked your device or account may be helpful. Scamming and hackers aren’t always as effective as they may seem, and some of these people tend to take longer because of some struggles to access your account.
With this, try finding out who your hacker is and their motives. Maybe you can find a way to convince them otherwise.
A way to confront a hacker or scammer is by threatening them with calls to your local law enforcement or posting on social media if they have a presence on it.
For this confrontational method, you can access several pages and groups on Facebook and other social media sites. Some specific pages on Facebook are SCAMMER ALERT, Scam & Conman Malaysia, and ScAm Alert, so feel free to check them out.
5. Consider other legal options
While filing a case with the police may help your situation, it will not always be an effective way of dealing with hackers. Also, this will not ensure that they will be punished.
With enough evidence submitted to the civil court, you can sue the hackers involved for any damages incurred. You can also state the inconveniences their actions have cost you, which is beneficial in the long run.
Suppose you can locate and name your hacker. In that case, this is a good option, but it can only be done with enough evidence and a solid basis for punishment.
Do note that being involved in a civil case can be costly, especially on the offensive. Hiring a private lawyer is already expensive, let alone paying for advocacy and other court fees.
In the end, as long as you have enough admissible evidence and proof, it is worth trying to sue the people behind the scam.
6. Report your concern to the OFS
The last thing you could do if you get hacked or scammed is to report your case to the OFS or the Ombudsman for Financial Services in Singapore.
The Ombudsman for Financial Services (OFS) is a non-profit organization focused on resolving financial disputes without biases. While this is a highly reliable organization when it comes to these problems, you can only approach them regarding monetary fraud and not hacking in general.
The jurisdiction of OFS all falls within the limits of monetary losses, which is quite helpful for the most part.
- Up to RM250,000 for banking products and insurance claims
- Up to RM10,000 for motor 3rd party property damage insurance/takaful claims
- Up to RM25,000 for cases involving unauthorized transactions through channels, such as internet & mobile banking, ATM, or unauthorized cheques.
Is it possible to get your money back after being scammed?
If you have been scammed, there is still a way to get your money back from the person who took it from you. If the mode of payment or the credit taken from you is from a debit or credit card, there’s a higher chance of getting it back.
Since every transaction and account is carefully monitored by the bank, the money scammed from you will most likely be in their system. With enough evidence as to why and how you were taken advantage of, you’ll be able to present to the bank your case.
In this instance, try contacting your bank regarding this problem immediately and also give the necessary information needed.
For cash scams and the sort, it becomes harder to get your money back as there are fewer traces of your cash.
Tips on How to Avoid Being Scammed
Scams are everywhere, especially on the web. While you can’t always see them at first, and some seem legit, it’s better to be aware that scams do exist.
Scammers are getting smarter as time goes by, so you should also educate yourself on what you can do best to try and avoid getting conned by these people.
We’ve come up with a list of some things you can do yourself when encountering scammers.
1. Regularly check your devices and accounts for data breaches
Scammers can take advantage of any information they can get. So make sure to keep all your passwords and personal information in a safe place, as well as any bills or online orders you get.
These documents and your personal accounts are where some scammers get the vital information they need. In addition, some bank and personal accounts indicate whether your password has been breached or if it’s prone to breaches.
2. Beware of apps or sites requesting your personal information or bank details
Since many various transactions can be done online, it’s normal for some to pay using their card or e-money per se. However, before you pay for anything and input your details, make sure to check if the site or app you’re using is legitimate by verifying the web address or links.
3. Don’t put money in companies or with people that have no prior record of its legitimacy
Several companies and con artists seek investments promising high returns and hassle-free transactions. Instead, try researching more or consult a professional about whatever you want to invest to see if you are doing the right thing.
4. Frequently communicate with staff from your bank
Check-in with your current bank to see if anyone else has access to your credit card. By communicating with representatives of your bank, you’ll also know the extra steps you can take to secure your account from scammers.
FAQs About Scammers in Malaysia
What can a scammer do with my phone number?
Your phone number is an easy access point for scammers and identity thieves.
Once scammers know your number, they can use it to send you phishing texts and trick you into installing malware and spyware. Furthermore, they can use social engineering attacks so you will reveal your personal identifying information.
Can my bank recover my scammed money?
Tell your bank what occurred as soon as possible, and ask whether you may obtain a refund.
Suppose you have already transferred money to someone due to fraud. In that case, most institutions should repay you with enough evidence of fraudulent activities.
What information does a scammer need?
Scammers seek account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, and other private data. After getting their hands on these, they will use the information to steal money from your checking account or charge unauthorized charges to your credit cards.
Can someone hack my bank account with my phone number?
A hacker might start taking over your accounts one by one with your phone number by sending a password reset request to your phone. Then, when you phone customer service, they can deceive automated systems—like those at your bank—into believing they are you.