Malaysian Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz has reminded the public to be more alert, not easily panic and check before making any financial transactions to avoid being a victim of an online scam, reported Bernama.
Recently, several cases of people being swindled huge sums of money, including a teacher who lost RM112,000 in a ‘love scam’, and a 90-year-old retiree who was conned of RM3.83 million in a Macau scam.
He was informing the public ‘to be more alert, to not easily panic, and to check before making any financial transactions’ when presenting the 13th LAKSANA report on the implementation of the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) and National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA).
Generally, a participative education platform is needed for the rakyat to receive continuous awareness and education at all level on this matter.
As this kind of scam exploited human trust system, this problem is not a technical one but rather educational and experiential learning.
It would be ideal if each business entity like the banks invest a bit more on a systematic customer based cyber crimes risk management program and government can support through grants and other taxation reduction incentives.
It is also timely for cyber security and privacy education is introduced in schools at all level as a formal or semi-formal education and co-curricular activities and communities participate through cybercrimes neighbourhood watch networks and educational programs.
Higher learning institutions cybersecurity students can also play an active role to reach out to targeted communities.
Both reactive and proactive mechanisms should be put in place.
Once a person falls victim, it is too late to recover and losses are great.
Thus a much more comprehensive plan and ecosystem in raising awareness and education to individuals is needed in order to combat this type of crimes effectively.
The scammers are cooperating internationally with some elements in Malaysia and the master minds are usually overseas. They are well coordinated and have rehearsed well with so many victims around the globe.
Thus, these scammers are not just a local issue but could be an international one too.
More awareness and education are needed in this direction using a creative non-technical approach as opposed to technical one.