The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has partnered with 15 telcos to educate consumers to identify fraudulent activities and steps that can be taken to prevent the increasing number of fraudulent attempts. The campaign is titled Telecommunication Crime Prevention Awareness Campaign and touches on fraud via phone calls and SMS. The partnering telcos are Altel, Celcom, Digi, Maxis, Merchantrade, PAVOCOMMS, RedONE, RedTone, Time, TM, TuneTalk, U Mobile, Webe, XOX and YES.
According to MCMC's statement on its website, the focus of the awareness campaign will be on three modus operandi of telecommunication crime: call fraud (phishing) where callers claim to be officers from government bodies, courts or private bodies such as banking institutions; SMS fraud (smishing) where victims are made to call the line number or click the link in a text message from a fraudulent banking institution; and verification transaction code (TAC) fraud where scammers contact the victim using various mediums before requesting a TAC number.
Under the campaign, MCMC will share information and tips to identify fraudulent activity and steps that can be taken to address it on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and websites through the use of hashtags. According to MCMC, this latest campaign is a way to monitor and enforce actions carried out in collaboration with the Royal Malaysian Police. Approximately 1,200 cases of fraud were reported to MCMC between 2020 to May 2021.
Additionally, records by the Royal Malaysian Police showed that approximately 5,700 cases of call fraud have been reported throughout 2019 with a loss value of an estimated RM250 million. MCMC said in its statement that this figure jumped in 2020 when around 6,000 cases were reported with a loss value of RM280 million. As of 2 March 2021, MCMC said the total number of call fraud cases that were reported to the Royal Malaysian Police reached about 1,300 cases with a loss value of RM38 million.
Separately in May, MCMC said it is disappointed with social media providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Telegram for not responding quickly to reports concerning the issue of fake accounts, especially those used for fraudulent purposes. MCMC added that delays in taking action could potentially hamper its efforts in protecting social media users from fake accounts, especially those that impersonate and misuse the identities of individuals and other entities, which could, in turn, lead to loss of money for consumers. It also urged the platform providers to be more responsible, responsive and act quickly.
Photo courtesy: 123RF
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