About 73% of mobile phone numbers, equivalent to more than 21 million people in Malaysia, were leaked or sold to scammers, based on the Gogolook 2022 Annual Fraud Report.

Among four Asian countries, Malaysia ranked first with 73% or most cell phone numbers breached, followed by Taiwan (65%), Japan (56%), and Thailand (45%).

Besides cell phone numbers, the report also found that the top private information leaks were login passwords and names for Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand, followed by address, country, date of birth, and email leaks.

“The danger of personal data breaches for login passwords may lead to stolen online banking or social network accounts.

“When scammers get access to names, phone numbers, and even payment and shopping records, they can easily initiate phone and message attacks.

“If names and addresses are leaked, people may soon receive ‘unsolicited packages with payment requests on arrival’,” it said.

Notably, private information leaked was often the first step leading to fraud or scam cases.

Gogolook, through its Whoscall — a caller identification application with reportedly the largest database in East Asia and Southeast Asia — has identified over 405.4 million scam calls and messages that took place globally in 2022.

Results also showed that scammers prioritise text messages for high penetration rates due to its low cost feature, which contributed to 76% of messages being used as the “first contact” in fraud cases, it said.

“This is exceptionally true, with 95% of fraud attacks in Japan, and up to 80% of fraud attacks in Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia, using messages instead of calls,” it said.

Meanwhile, anti-fraud Industries are expected to grow to US$129.2 billion (RM568.35 billion) in market scale by 2029, or a 22.8% compound annual growth rate, the firm said, citing Fortune Business Insights.

To fight against fraud effectively, Malaysia has deployed a new reporting system through its National Scam Response Centre, where the public can report fraud cases by dialling the hotline 997.

Recently, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) has collaborated with Whoscall to enhance the fraud number database, with PDRM’s Commercial Crime Investigation Department portal sharing its database with Whoscall’s data system.

Source : The Edge

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