PUTRAJAYA, June 13 2021 – The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is organising a telecommunication crime prevention awareness campaign to educate consumers in identifying fraudulent activities and taking the right measures to prevent the surge in scam cases in collaboration with 15 telecommunication companies.
MCMC in a statement today said the telcos involved are Altel, Celcom, Digi, Maxis, Merchantrade, PAVOCOMMS, RedONE, RedTone, Time, TM, TuneTalk, U Mobile, Webe, XOX and YES.
It said the awareness campaign which will start tomorrow, is focused on three telecommunication scams involving phone calls, SMS messages and Transaction Authentication Codes (TAC).
Scams involving phone calls occur when an unknown caller claims to be an officer from a government body such as the police, customs department, Bank Negara Malaysia, the courts or from private bodies such as banking institutions, scamming potential victims into believing that they have issues with the authorities, forcing the victims to disclose their personal and financial information, it said.
Meanwhile, SMS fraud is when unsuspecting victims receive a message via the short messaging system (SMS) claiming a banking transaction involving the victims that need their confirmation by contacting the phone number or clicking the link attached with the message, it added.
According to the statement, scammers involve in the TAC scam will contact victims using various medium before asking them to provide the TAC number, which they claim is wrongly delivered to the victims’ phone number.
“During the campaign, announcements related to information as well as tips to identify fraudulent activity and steps that can be taken to tackle it will be shared comprehensively on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and websites besides using designated hashtags,” read the statement.
MCMC said a total of 1,290 cases of fraud were reported to the commission throughout last year until May this year, adding those involved could be charged under Section 420 of the Penal Code while fixed line or mobile phone numbers found to be used in fraudulent activities could be terminated under Section 263 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
According to MCMC, police records show a total of 5,725 cases of phone call fraud were reported throughout 2019 with RM254,586,210.94 in losses and increased in 2020 when 6,003 cases were logged with a reported loss of RM287,301,039.90.
It said as of March 24, a total of 1,392 cases of phone call fraud were reported to the police with losses amounting to RM38,198,730.01, adding it was a situation that needed to be addressed immediately.
MCMC also advised the public to be vigilant when receiving calls or messages via SMS from unknown and suspicious individuals and immediately refer the matter to the relevant authorities.
Consumers are also encouraged to channel information and submit complaints regarding scams to the CCID (Commercial Crime Investigation Department) Scam Response Centre at 03-2610 1559 or 03-2610 1599, which opens daily from 8 am to 8 pm.