Despite spreading awareness of scam calls, Malaysians still continue to fall victim to these scams and had lost huge amount of money.
According to Truecaller, Malaysians have lost hundreds of millions to phone scammers within the past 2 years and the data provided by the Malaysian authorities estimate that over RM254 million was lost across 5,725 cases of fraud calls in 2019, while the number rose to over RM287 million across 6,003 cases.
Meanwhile, Truecaller said as of March 2021, there were no less than 1,392 cases of fraudulent calls, with over RM38 million lost within the first three months of the year alone.
It is noted that most victims of these scam calls were close to retirement ages and less tech-savvy. In addition, Truecaller also highlighted cases in which some Malaysians lost incredible sums of money to the Macau scam syndicate.
“Normally, the culprit behind these scams 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,”
“Their purpose is to scam potential victims into believing that they have issues with the authorities, forcing them to disclose their personal and financial information.” Truecaller said.
Besides, some scammers managed to adapt and change according to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and made use of their prey’s fear and insecurities of those looking to safeguard themselves during this time.
“The COVID-19 infection in March, which led to people panicking, has led to spammers and scammers capitalizing on this opportunity – whether it was about selling life-saving drugs, oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, or securing scarce hospital beds,” Truecaller said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Truecaller ranks Malaysia 32nd in the world for the number of spam calls, but the number is still high enough given that it is about 3.5 spam call cases per Malaysian per month, and this calls for caution.
“The Global Spam Report states of all the spam calls that Malaysians receive, 99% are of domestic origin while the remaining one percent originate from overseas,”
“On average, Truecaller users in Malaysia receive over eight million spam calls per month, and 9 out of 10 of all these spam calls in Malaysia were correctly identified by Truecaller.” Truecaller said.
With that, Truecaller had a few things to share when it comes to spam calls. Here’s the type of spam calls and how you should deal with them.
These involved companies or people are calling you to sell you something, usually without prior permission. This includes telemarketing calls, promotional calls from companies, surveys, political calls, new client outreach for services, subscriptions, hospitals, health care services, private medical practice, pathology labs, and so on. It also includes calls from cellular operators (telecom companies) trying to upsell data plans, promotions, etc.
Due to this being a broad spectrum of calls, this is defined generally as: Calls that are unwanted, a disturbance for users, harassment, or pranks.
One type of common spam calls are financial services “involving” banks, credit unions, credit card companies, insurance companies, and debt collection agencies (organizations that specialize in payments of debts owed by individuals or businesses, bounty hunters, collection agents).
Robocalls are automated calls that are placed to people with a pre-recorded message. Some of these calls can sound like real people talking. When you reply to their queries, they can be very sophisticated, using voice recognition technology to answer and ask follow-up questions.
Calls that involve fraud attempts, money swindling, unknown links, phishing attempts.
These calls commonly request for personal data or passwords or involve the recipient being selected as a lucky winner of a prize, an urgent situation such as the recipient being involved in a crime, a late payment request, or a missed parcel delivery.
If you received such calls, be sure to ignore the caller and never reveal any of your personal details to the person on the phone.