The government will be setting up the National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) to deal with the rising online fraud in the country, says Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz while unveiling the Budget 2023.
According to the Finance Minister, the NSRC will be jointly managed by the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and National Anti-Financial Crime Centre (NFCC) in cooperation with various financial institutions.
“Daily online scam has become a serious global issue and Malaysia is no exception. Thus, immediate steps are needed to be taken to curb them,” he said at the Dewan Rakyat.
He added that the agency will begin operations this month and will act against any reports lodged by blocking bank accounts and take any enforcement action against criminals that have been identified.
“This will include tightening of internet banking security measures by banking institutions to stop the use of SMS-based One-Time Passwords (OTP) for high-risk online transactions.”
“Also, the platform will enable the public to report any bank accounts or telephone numbers suspected of being used by online scammers,” he said.
Tengku Zafrul said this agency will also be tasked to spread financial and digital literacy awareness among users to reduce the risk of being a scam victim.
More to be done to combat cyber crimes
Meanwhile, he said the government has allocated RM73 million to strengthen cyber threat monitoring, tracking and reporting, including building cyber forensic systems.
“To protect credit consumers while promoting a fair and orderly consumer credit market, the government is committed to table the Consumers’ Credit Bill in the second quarter of next year.”
“Through this effort, an independent agency, the Consumers’ Credit Monitoring Board, under the Finance Ministry will be established to monitor all activities related to consumer credit,” he said.
Last month, the Royal Malaysia Police’s (PDRM) commercial crimes investigation department (CCID) reported that it has recorded a total of 71,833 scams from 2020 until May 2022, where the losses amounted to more than RM5.2 billion.
Of the total amount of scams, 48,850 or 68% were online scams, where 26,213 cases were prosecuted in court. 5,851 e-commerce scam cases were recorded in 2020 followed by 9,569 cases last year. Up to May this year, 3,833 cases were recorded.