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Cyber Crime Up A Staggering 99% in 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic not only helped accelerate digitalization but it also enabled cyber criminals a free reign in the cyber space, leaving users vulnerable.

by K. Vatsala Devi
cyber crime has increased by 99%

For months now we have been telling our readers how crime rates especially cyber crimes having been experiencing an upward trend, more specifically since globally we have been fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

We don’t know if you believed us or thought it was a scare tactic. But NOW, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) has published Crime Statistics, Malaysia, 2021. The publication reports cyber crime has increased 99.5 per cent in 2020 as compared to 2019.

This publication comprises eight selected crime statistics namely Crime Index, Drugs, Corruptions, Environment, Traffic Offences, Cyber Crime, Maritime Crime and Correctional Facility, in which Traffic Offences and Cyber Crime are new statistics in this year’s publication.

Chief Statistician Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin said, “The findings of cyber crime statistics showed that the number of complaints received by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in 2020 increased by 99.5 per cent to 20,805 complaints (2019: 10,426).”

He further added that among the elements of the complaint received are obscene, false, offensive, indecent and menacing. All elements of complaints recorded an increase in 2020. The highest increase in complaints was for false element which was 117.6 per cent (2020: 6,637; 2019: 3,050).”

To complement these statistics, Daily Express reported in their daily that the police recorded 2,804 cyber crime cases involving a loss of RM79.2 million in Sabah for the period of January 2019 to October 2021.

Cybercrime statistics for January to September this year in Sabah showed that online purchases topped the list with a total loss of RM10,911,190.04, followed by Macau scams (RM3,998,847.10), non-existent loans (RM2,698,303.82), African scams (RM1,077,903.72) and cases under the Computer Crime Act (RM272,045.30).

“In the last ten years, police reports linked to commercial crime cases in Malaysia have climbed by more than 60 per cent, and instances involving cyber crime have shown a substantial increasing trend,” said Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Idris Abdullah during a cyber crime forum.

cyber crime has seen a jump
Number of new media content complaints received by MCMC, Malaysia (2018-2020)

While cyber crime registered a high incline, crime cases decreased by 21.4% therefore assuring the public that their safety is being looked after. “Security governance continues to be strengthened to ensure the country remains peaceful and public order is preserved. This can be seen in 2020, the crime cases decreased 21.4 per cent to 65,623 cases as compared to 83,456 cases in 2019. This crime cases consists of violent crime and property crime. Both crimes showed a decline in 2020,” he added.

Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin cited the Movement Control Order as one of the reasons for criminal cases decreasing. As there were restrictions on social activities and cross-district as well as state borders, with the implementation of MCO, it helped reduce the crime rates. In addition, stricter enforcement activities by the authorities and public awareness in enhancing protection from the threat of crime have also helped in the cause.

The compilation of these statistics is guided by the concepts and guidelines from the International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purpose Version 1.0 published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The compilation of the crime statistics is based on administrative records obtained from various agencies. The statistics provided can be used to measure social aspects particularly the well-being of the people as well as public safety.

Read Cybercrimes went up 99% in 2020 for a better understanding.

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