Lax student visa regulations and a high-tech banking system has made Malaysia a global hub for Internet scams, according to U. officials, with money being swindled out of unwitting Americans and Europeans by racketeers prowling online dating sites. embassy in Kuala Lumpur every week, with scam complaints forming four-fifths of new work for duty officers. “We would hope that through publicity more Americans would be made aware of these scams.” While most Internet users have received — only to swiftly mock and discard — some crude Nigerian scam emails, these tricksters are more sophisticated, and slowly build trust as a budding romance ripens.
“Some people mortgage their houses to pay these criminals,” Whitty says, “but often the devastation they feel is more about the loss of the relationship than the money — of realizing they’ve been duped.” And worryingly, such scams appear to be growing more common; last year, U.
S.-based IT security developer SOPHOS ranked Malaysia as sixth globally in terms of cyber crime threat risks, as the total cyber crime bill topped $300 million.
The ease of obtaining visas, opening bank accounts and arranging money transfers are all part of the nation’s criminal appeal.
“Scammers are increasingly using targeted social engineering attacks against their victims due to the extremely high success rate,” Ty Miller, an Australian security expert and founder of Threat Intelligence, tells TIME.
“This not only affects individuals, but also organizations.” Awareness and technology are key to tackling this scourge, says Miller, who is running a fraud-prevention course in Kuala Lumpur in October.
“Techniques can be deployed that allow malicious individuals to be tracked,” he says, “which as time goes on will build intelligence to unveil the identity of the perpetrators.” Amirudin Abdul Wahab, CEO of Cyber Security Malaysia, an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, says all involved nations must share information and jointly investigate cases according to agreed procedures and technical processes.
“Various authorities from the various countries involved should work together rather than blaming each other,” he said by email.
One of the most recent spots in the world right now for scams is Africa and specifically Ghana.
The online web is full of "offers" from African cities and other countries; just make sure your e-mail Inbox is clean and secure.
Ghana is a hot-bed for dating scams and huge money scams involving gold and diamonds.
What we have initiated through our investigations is that in the U. there are several instances where a middle man becomes the victim to the scammer.