Malaysia Ranks Second For Surge In Scam Calls In Asia

The number of scam calls in Malaysia surged dangerously by 101% from 2022 to 2023, according to Whoscall.

Cover image via Whoscall & Freepik (NST)

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In 2023, Malaysians were bombarded with a total of 1,632,290 scam calls, marking a staggering 100.92% increase from the previous year

In Whoscall’s 2023 Annual Report, the digital anti-fraud app revealed that in 2022, there were 812,428 recorded scam calls.

With generative AI in the mix, many scammers are now misusing such technologies to dupe people into parting with their hard-earned money.

Using covert and manipulative tactics, these scammers have evolved alongside rapid technological advancements, making it increasingly challenging to discern between what's genuine and what's a scam.

Malaysia ranks as the second top Asian country experiencing a surge in scam calls

Man Yong, Country Marketing Lead of Gogolook Malaysia, a subsidiary of Whoscall, said Hong Kong leads among the seven Asian countries analysed.

"The report also shows that out of the 7 Asian countries, Malaysia is the second top country seeing an increase in scam calls after Hong Kong followed by Japan taking the third spot, while other Asian countries such as Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, and the Philippines are seeing a decrease in scam calls," she revealed in a statement.

The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) revealed that phone scams topped the list of online scam cases, resulting in losses amounting to RM65.8 million in just the first two months of 2024

PDRM, which works closely with Whoscall to combat fraud, said a total of 2,092 cases were recorded between January to February this year. The most prevalent tactic currently used is URL scams shared through messaging apps.

Another popular tactic employed by scammers involves manipulating news content. They take real news footage and alter the audio clip to achieve a specific goal, such as creating positive news on an investment opportunity to win the trust of victims. This trick has led to an increasing number of Malaysians falling prey to such schemes.

PDRM urged Malaysians to stay alert and think twice before clicking on any links.

That said, in 2023 alone, Whoscall successfully identified and tagged 1,632,290 scam calls

"However, 10.35%, equivalent to 168,946 users, still chose to pick up the tagged scam calls. This is a concern, and we would like to remind our users not to entertain any calls tagged as 'scam' and to immediately take action to block the number. Taking these early preventive steps can save you from becoming a victim of scams," Man Yong cautioned. 

Gogolook Malaysia Country Marketing Lead, Man Yong.

Image via Whoscall

In its efforts to combat fraud, Whoscall has broadened its anti-fraud detection scope from calls and text messages to include URL Scanner and ID Security features

Now, Whoscall users can quickly identify risky links and verify unknown ones using AI technology, thanks to its useful URL Scanner.

ID Security, on the other hand, helps Whoscall users determine whether their accounts or personal information has been compromised. With just a phone number, users can find out if their passwords or other details are at risk.

"Whoscall is always improving to keep users safe from scams that keep changing," Man Yong said.

Whoscall is currently offering a one-year Whoscall Premium subscription for free. This offer ends on 30 April 2024, and you can apply for it here with the promo code: PDRMLawanScams

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