Cyber Crime on the Rise

Cyber crime is one of the seven identified threats to the nation’s peace and stability. Of the many criminal offenses committed in cyberspace, topping the trend in Malaysia is the Filipina Love Scam. Most of the victims have been men, lured by beautiful Filipino women to video chat over Skype. Many of these men ended up having videos of themselves in various stages of undress recorded and were subsequently blackmailed.

In Ipoh, about one to two such cases per week are reported to the Ipoh office of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). Eighty cases have already been received by MCMC Northern Regional Office from January 1, 2014, to date.

The second most common cyber crime in Malaysia is the Nigerian Scam, whereby most victims are career women above 40 years old. Some of these victims ended up being international drug mules.

Cyber bullying is the third common cyber crime in the country. It is an offense under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988 which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment of up to one year or both. Victims, usually teenagers, are advised to call the Helpline (Talian Nur) at 15999 to seek help.

This information was shared by Mohd Faizal bin Azizan, Head of MCMC Perak Office, at a dialogue session organised by the Perak Information Department, at MH Hotel Ipoh on Wednesday, recently.

The luncheon talk, held once a year on different topics, was one of the department’s Key Performance Indicators with the objective to foster closer ties with government agencies and departments as well as with the media.

In the opening speech of department state director Muhamad Aszahari bin Abdul Rahman, which was delivered by his assistant, Yosri bin Abu Mahsin, he said that the seven threats included terrorism, human trafficking, petrol or diesel smuggling and drugs. Aszahari said, “Every citizen has a responsibility to help protect the country from these threats.”

The other panelist was ASP Mohd Nor bin Kassim from the Perak Police Contingent. Having worked in Japanese and American companies prior to joining the Malaysian police force, he believed that technology-wise, Malaysia is behind first world countries easily by five to ten years.

The conclusion of the dialogue was that information and communications technology is good but it shouldn’t be misused. The onus is on parents to control the usage of internet by their children.


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