M’sians Lost RM134 Mil to Digital Scams In 2022; BNM Issues Stern Call to Action for Banks

In the latter half of 2022, Malaysia witnessed a concerning surge in online banking fraud cases, with a staggering 19,165 reported incidents, involving a total of RM94.6 million, according to data provided by Bank Negara Malaysia. 

This marked a significant increase compared to the first half of the year, which had seen 9,735 cases amounting to RM39.9 million.

m’sians lost rm134 mil to digital scams in 2022; bnm issues stern call to action for banksPhoto via National Debt Helpline

With the ominous rise in digital scams, Bank Negara Malaysia has issued a stern call to action for financial institutions to proactively fortify the safety of their Malaysian customers. This includes the implementation of robust fraud countermeasures and secure authentication methods.

To this end, Bank Negara Malaysia has mandated several critical measures to be adopted by all banks. These measures encompass the removal of clickable hyperlinks in SMS and email communications, the restriction of customers to a single mobile device for online banking transaction authentication, the reinforcement of the process for enrolling new mobile devices, the tightening of fraud detection protocols, the establishment of a 24/7 call center dedicated to assisting fraud victims, and more. 

Many banks are also continuously fine-tuning their fraud detection regulations to identify and block suspicious transactions promptly. Furthermore, they are collaborating closely with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to swiftly eliminate fake websites that serve as breeding grounds for fraudulent activities.

In light of these growing digital threats, it is imperative for individuals to take steps to protect themselves from falling victim to online banking fraud. 

Here are some proactive measures that can be taken…

  1. Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated on the latest scams and common tactics used by fraudsters. Knowledge is a powerful defense.
  2. Verify Communications: Always verify the authenticity of any communication or email you receive from your bank. Call your bank using official contact details to confirm the legitimacy of any request for personal information or transactions.
  3. Secure Devices: Ensure that your mobile devices and computers have up-to-date antivirus software and firewalls to protect against malware.
  4. Use Strong Passwords: Create strong, unique passwords for your online banking accounts, and change them regularly.
  5. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Activate MFA for your online banking accounts to add an extra layer of security.
  6. Be Cautious of Emails and Links: Be wary of unsolicited emails and avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.
  7. Protect Personal Information: Safeguard your personal and financial information. Do not share sensitive details with anyone unless you are absolutely certain of their legitimacy.
  8. Report Suspicious Activity: If you encounter any suspicious or fraudulent activity, report it immediately to your bank and relevant authorities.

By staying vigilant and following these precautionary measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to digital scams and protect your hard-earned money from online fraudsters.