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Think You’re Safe From Credit Card Fraud In Malaysia?

Updated 18 Jul 2017 – By Loanstreet


Credit card fraud is the ever prevalent thorn in the side and if you think Malaysians are relatively safe from this, just know that we rank in the top 10 for e-commerce fraud in the world! To be clear, credit card fraud is the usage of your card without your consent and knowledge. In any case, while there is no sure fire way to not be a victim of credit card fraud, you can however take precautions to lessen your risk of becoming the next victim.

1. Phishing (Via Phone or email)

Though phishing (password + fishing. geddit?), the fraudster calls the victims to acquire their bank or credit card information by simply coming up with something believable. The most commonly practiced method is to impose as a bank

*Extracted from Bank Negara Malaysia

From Bank Negara Malaysia's investigations, the latest modus operandi of the scam is as follows:

1. Victim receives telephone call from a 'commercial bank' requesting victim to confirm a credit card transaction for the purchase of goods overseas for example, transactions in Shanghai purportedly charged to the victim's credit card.

2. When the victim informs the fraudster that he has no such credit card or transaction, the fraudster will sound concerned and will advise victim to lodge a report with Bank Negara Malaysia's "Unit Kad Kredit Palsu". The fraudster will provide the victim with the telephone number for the "Unit Kad Kredit Palsu".

3. When the victim calls the telephone number provided, he would be greeted by an automated voice message which identifies the company as Bank Negara Malaysia, and the call will be answered by someone claiming to be a Bank Negara Malaysia officer. The officer will request for information relating to the victim's banking and credit card accounts. The fraudster will then instruct the victim to transfer money over the counter to a third party account in the pretext of safeguarding the victim's money.

4. In other cases, fraudsters will request for information relating to the victim's banking and credit card accounts to illegally transfer funds out of the victim's bank account.

For email phishing, please read up on our online scam article.

How do you prevent this?

Bear in mind that banks never ask their customers for bank account or credit card numbers. So never reveal any confidential information through calls or emails. It is always best to visit the bank branches directly to deal with the matters and seek confirmations when such problem arises.

2. Credit Card Theft

Do you often use your card to pay when dining out? Passing your card over to the waiter while he goes behind the counter can be very risky.

Some online transactions only require your credit card number, CVV number  and expiry date and it is no stretch to the imagination of what someone with that information can do with your card.

How do you prevent this?

  • Follow the waiter to the counter when paying for your bill
  • Be alert and check your credit card after receiving it back from the handler
  • Whenever possible, use cash to pay your bill. If you have large number of transactions on your credit card, you might miss out on any unauthorized use of your credit card when you run through your statements.
  • Keep your credit card bills and counter check with your monthly statements

3. Skimming

Skimming is the another way to steal card information by installing a skimming device to the magnetic strip of an ATM machine.  When your card goes through the ATM, it captures valuable information about your card and transmit it to the fraudster that operates it. 

A similar approach can also be used in restaurants where staff can sneakily swipe your card to the device when you are not noticing. 

Think You’re Safe From Credit Card Fraud In Malaysia?

How to protect yourself?

  • Check card reader slot of your ATM and compare it to other machines.
  • Check the keypad, if the keypad looks like it has an additional sticker on it or is discolored when compared to the rest of the machine, then it might have a keypad overlay on it. When the overlay is removed the criminal can guess your password as different pressure is applied in different keys
  • Look for hidden cameras. Usually criminals installs them at the top of the machines.
  • Cover your hands when typing your PIN number to avoid being seen in case there is hidden cameras.
  • Keep all your receipt and check against your credit card billing statement at a regular basis. If there is any suspicious or abnormal payment just report to the bank.
  • Do not use the same PIN for over a long period of time, and for different cards. Make it more difficult for the criminals and let them give up on you!

The Final Reminder : The Do’s and Don’ts

Online Shopping

  • When making purchases online, make sure its from a reputable website. Trustable websites use encryption technologies to secure your transaction.
  • Print and save the confirmation page when completing an online purchase as proof.
  • Don’t use public computers when shopping online. If you have to, always clear the cache after transactions, and use the on screen keyboards when typing passwords.

Management of Documents

  • Shred all documents that contains card details before you discard them.
  • Cut all your expired credit card into several pieces before disposing them.

Conclusion

Credit card fraud is no stranger in this technological age. Millions has been illegally laundered and the statistics continue to grow. That being said, there are perks to having a credit card in check. 

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