There’s no limit to what scammers can do these days and virtually everyone in Malaysia has probably received a call or a message from a stranger pretending to be someone else.
Lately, there are reports of messages sent by individuals claiming to be from the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), offering part-time jobs to instant investment opportunities via SMS, iMessage or Telegram.
The issue has become so rampant that MDEC has to issue a public service announcement alerting the public to be wary of such dubious messages that misuse the organisation’s name. Even MDEC CEO Mahadhir Aziz said his family and friends in the ecosystem are still receiving such messages and he urge everyone to be vigilant about fake news and scammers.
MDEC is a government agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (K-Komm) which is formed to drive the development of Malaysia’s digital ecosystem through policy, investment, industry development initiatives, programmes and projects. It clarified that they have not run or collaborated with any party to establish any kind of investment plan. For more info and for further clarification, you can check their official website for more details.
Besides voice calls and messages, scammers have been operating across different platforms including social media. As highlighted recently, Meta is still allowing scammers to run fake ads on its platform despite it being a clear violation of its ad review policy. These ads are typically linked to a page imitating reputable news websites such as News Straits Times, The Star, The Sun Daily and Sin Chew, which then direct users to a page to submit their personal details.
To make matters worse, it was recently reported that a database containing personal data of 22.5 million Malaysians allegedly obtained via the National Registration Department’s MyIdentity API was put on sale for USD 10,000 (about RM43,790). If bought by syndicates, the database can be misused for scam activities and it is easier for scammers to convince their victims as they have full details of their personal data including full address, IC number and mobile number.
Following the report, Home Minister Dato Seri Hamzah Zainudin denied that the data came from the National Registration Department but the source of the database remains unanswered.