Malaysia Loses RM2.23 Billion To Cybercrime

Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunusin in her keynote address at the International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism Financing (IFCTF) 2022 said Malaysian is not spared from the growing threat of financial crimes.

As indicated in the National Risk Assessment 2020, fraud, the country endured higher number of cases and losses suffered compared to the previous assessment conducted in 2017. More than 20,000 cybercrimes were reported in 2021 alone, involving losses of RM560 million. Between 2017 to July 2021, Malaysians suffered losses of about RM2.23 billion on account of cybercrimes. As more people switch to mobile phones for online transactions, we are also seeing an increase in online banking fraud incidents involving mobile malware.

Although fraud losses remain low as a share of the total value of online banking transactions, they point to ever-present and evolving threats as society adapt to new norms of living and doing business. Indeed, criminals are exploiting the rapid dispersion of technology in this recent period. This is not a trend that will reverse. Therefore, strengthening the financial system’s defence against emerging threats and vulnerabilities must remain a top priority.

The Governor added, ann ongoing, critical priority for Bank Negara Malaysia and the financial industry is to ensure the banking and payment channels remain secure and are equipped with the latest security controls and fraud risk management capabilities. BNM has issued multiple security advisories to the industry on modus operandi of the latest frauds and additional countermeasures, and will continue to update regulatory requirements to take into account new risks.

She added by their very nature, frauds and scams will continually seek to find ways to circumvent efforts to eradicate them. Bagai cendawan tumbuh selepas hujan. This means that in our efforts to combat scams, we continue to navigate the need to ensure the strong security measures against potential threats, without excessively increasing frictions that would affect the convenience of, and access to online financial services.

To handle these cases, PDRM’s Scam Response Centre was set up in collaboration with Bank Negara Malaysia, MCMC and the financial industry aims to ensure that immediate action can be taken to prevent further financial losses and attempt to recover stolen funds.

Compliance officers in the financial industry also have a role to play by being vigilant of emerging scam typologies and ensuring that response measures remain effective against new threats. I urge the entire compliance profession, including self-regulatory bodies, to take up leading roles to identify red flags and develop guidance to mitigate these threats.

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