Update laws so scam victims can get money back, Sarawak politician tells MPs

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, June 9 — Malaysia's existing laws on cybercrimes need to be updated for wider protection against scammers, politician Kho Teck Wan said today.

The head of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) women's wing said the current relevant laws do not empower the police to help fraud victims recover their lost money.

“According to recent press reports, the current laws do not empower the police to recover the money of the victims,” the information security architect for Sarawak Energy Berhad said in a statement.

She said there have been 3,057 cybercrimes reported to Cybersecurity Malaysia as of May, adding that 2,147 are classified as fraud cases.

She said the general public is not typically aware what cybercrime constitutes and that it can be hard to provide a proper explanation due to the complexity of issues involved.

She said the regulatory bodies including the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), banks, cybersecurity experts, and MPs should work together to stop or reduce the frequency of financial crimes and improve the laws to help Malaysians protect their savings.

Elaborating, she said banks are accountable to safeguard their customers’ savings, and should take the first step to perform an internal investigation and report the incidents to the authorities immediately whenever a complaint is lodged.

“Without such proactive actions, people will slowly lose their confidence in financial institutions, which can result in serious consequences to the future prospects of the banking sector,” she said.

Kho urged the MCMC to work with the police to investigate the cases that have been reported lately, adding that complex investigation may be time consuming, but perpetrators need to be stopped and the public need to know how crimes are committed so they can avoid becoming the next victims.

She urged Bank Negara to take action against any bank should they fail to comply with the Risk Management in technology outlined by the central bank.

A former data storage lead for Tyson Food Inc in the US, Kho advised the public to be vigilant and extra-cautious when engaging in any online transaction.

She advised the public to download apps from trusted sources, such Apple or Google Play rather than off any website.

Kho also advised the public not to blindly trust phone calls or text messages from unknown people who claimed that they are from banks.

“Verify personally with the local branch,” she said.

Kho also reminded the public against accepting offers and free gifts made through social media as many times they are the first step to get the victims.

“They must never give out their personal information and bank login credentials to unknown websites,” she said, adding that some online games and apps are collecting personal information and they should not be tempted to download games online on their phones.

Kho also urged the public to immediately inform the bank and lodge a police report should they become the victims of cybercrimes.

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