Meta Malaysia today announced new initiatives under the nationwide #TakNakScam awareness campaign in the presence of core campaign partners, including Royal Malaysian Police’s Commercial Crime Investigation Department (PDRM CCID), Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP), Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), Bursa Malaysia Berhad, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM), The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) and Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA).

Yang Berbahagia Datuk Azman Mohd Yusof, Secretary General, Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Nicole Tan, Country Director, Meta at Malaysia at the launch of #TakNakScam campaign this morning, with representatives from government agencies, private sectors and NGOs.

Meta’s #TakNakScam campaign was first launched in July 2021 with the aim to create awareness and educate the public on how to spot, check and report against highly deceptive tactics employed by scammers. The campaign which ran for five months was well received by the public and had a total reach of 2.3 million and 105,000 link clicks via various social online campaign channels[1]. Meanwhile, influencer campaign through Meta Marketing Partner had a total reach of 4.8 million and a total engagement of 23,007[2]. In addition, the campaign also received support from local celebrity Chef Wan, where through various social content on the campaign, had a total reach of over 1.38 million and total engagement of 137,000[3].

“New consumer behaviors around online buying and browsing habits that emerged during the pandemic will remain entrenched amongst Malaysians. We recognize that more Malaysians are going online to build meaningful connections with people, communities and businesses they love. Together with our partners, Meta is committed to providing safety tools and resources so that Malaysians can stay safe on our platforms. We will continue to find new ways to reach out to everyday Malaysians, raise awareness, encourage critical thinking so that people remain vigilant and empower them to take action to protect themselves,” said Nicole Tan, Country Director, Malaysia at Meta.

According to The Commercial Crimes Investigation Department, PDRM, there were 71,833 cases with losses amounting to more than RM5.2 billion, from 2020 until May 2022 with 48,850 or 68% of them involving online scams. E-commerce scams recorded 5,851 cases in 2020, 9,569 cases last year and 3,833 cases up to May this year. Job scams recorded 350 cases, while loan and investment scams also recorded a total of 11,875 between 2020 to May 2022.

Yang Berbahagia Datuk Azman Mohd Yusof, Secretary General, Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and Nicole Tan, Country Director, Meta at Malaysia at the launch of #TakNakScam campaign this morning.

“The Ministry received 24,018 complaints regarding online fraud and electronic media scams during the pandemic from 2020 to February 17 this year, involving losses amounting to RM21.7 million. As such, continuing user education is important to avoid falling into such scams. We want to encourage people to come forward and report, so there won’t be more scam victims. It is commendable of Meta Malaysia to take this under its wing to combat scams. We are pleased to be part of this important campaign and supportive of its initiatives,” said YB Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP).

“Among the challenges faced by PDRM is to encourage people to come forward and make a report at the police station. People may sometimes feel ashamed to report that they have been scammed and this dampens police efforts to track these scammers down effectively. However, I would like to highlight that between the year 2020 and May this year, of the total 48,850 online scam cases reported, 26,213 cases were prosecuted in court. During the campaign period, there was a downward trend in the number of scam cases reported. Therefore, I urge the public to please come forward and do their part,” said a Cyber and Multimedia Crime Investigation, Commercial Crime Investigation Department PDRM spokesperson.

This year, the #TakNakScam campaign will focus on the top 5 most prevalent online scams, which are e-commerce scams, illegal loans, job scams, investment scams, and money muling. The campaign continues to strongly urge the public to be vigilant with three simple steps: “Spot, Check, Report” that is to identify, verify and report fraudsters. Some of the new initiatives that will be introduced in phases this year include:
  • We Think Digital Scams Prevention Modules: Under Meta’s flagship digital literacy program, these modules will be available in Bahasa Malaysia and English and aim to further increase public education on the subject matter. The public can learn valuable tips to identify, tackle and report fraudulent activities on the website.
  • Immersive public education: Meta will be engaging with the public using different content formats like Instagram AR Filters for a more immersive learning experience.
  • Balancing education between consumers and sellers: Meta will be adding a focus to educate sellers on ways to protect their customer and their brand experience on our platforms

“Between 2018 and 2021, MCMC managed to block 1.6 billion suspicious calls from reaching Malaysians. Any abuse of ICT channels for bad intentions like scams is an actionable offense. We applaud Meta’s continued commitment to this concerted effort, pulling relevant stakeholders together to keep Malaysians safe from this menace,” says Puan Eneng Faridah binti Iskandar Sastrawidjaja, Head of Consumer and Industry Affairs, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Encik Jawahar Ali Ameer Ali, General Manager, Consumer & Investor Office of the Securities Commission Malaysia of the Securities Commission commented that, “It is unfortunate that scammers capitalize on fears and hardship stemming from major crises like Covid-19 outbreaks to manipulate vulnerable and unsuspecting members of the public. We would like to remind the public to not fall for promises such as: too good to be true investment opportunities promising unusually guaranteed high return, with no risk.”

Ms A. A Deepa, Head of Education, Bursa Malaysia (“The Exchange”) said, “The Exchange emphasises the importance of educating the public to remain vigilant of investment scams. We educate the public via our financial literacy programme called Sens-Ability which creates awareness on personal money management, proper investing and how to be wary of financial frauds. Our participation in the #TakNakScam campaign will further amplify our continued efforts to warn investors against investment scams.”

Nicole Tan, Country Director, Meta at Malaysia delivering her keynote speech

Mr. Baskaran Sithamparam, Senior Manager, FOMCA, noted that the social media platforms had provided a lifeline to many, consumers and businesses alike, during the pandemic. “It is unfortunate that there are many who are using them to cheat guileless consumers. This #TakNakScam campaign is timely, as more people go digital, they need to be more aware of the tactics used by scammers so that they can protect themselves,” he concluded.

During the campaign, various educational materials, and tips to identify, tackle and report fraudulent activities will be shared comprehensively through the campaign partners’ online and offline channels.

[1] Source: Facebook Data, Jul 2021-Nov 2021
[2] Source: KOBE Influencer Campaign: #TakNakScam 2021
[3] Source: Chef Wan Influencer Campaign: #TakNakScam 2021