How to be an expert scam avoider in Malaysia

You may already be a pro at sensing scams, but your friends and family may not.

We wish we didn’t have to prepare this list. But our fellow Malaysians continue to be duped by scammers of all shapes and sizes.

So we prepared a few simple rules to avoid being bamboozled by thieves.

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1. Never reveal your phone number on Facebook

Don’t put it on your profile, and don’t share it with friends. Because that “friend” might be a scammer who faked your friend’s account.

Other rules of thumb:

  • Verify the identity of your “friends” on FB by asking personal questions, before revealing anything.
  • Never send *ahem* private photos to people you met on FB claiming to be looking for love.

2. Never transfer money as instructed through phone calls

If a “bank” calls you and says you need to transfer your money to a third party account for safekeeping, it won’t be safe at all. Scam artists have been known to pose as bank reps on the phone.

So if someone tells you have an unpaid personal loan or that your account has been hijacked, hang up and call or visit the bank yourself.

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Other rules of thumb:

  • Never type out your password on a “bank” page that you landed from an email you received.
  • Never input your bank credentials on a “Bank Negara” page you landed from an SMS you received.

3. Never invest in a company without researching

Someone comes a long and tells you or your friends about an investment opportunity, and that someone actually got incredibly high returns. When that happens, ask a lot of questions.

What is the product/service of the business? Do they generate lots of revenue from sales? Why can’t this company raise money elsewhere?

Or just Google the company name and see if they appear on news sites for all the wrong reasons.

On top of that, talk to someone who knows about investing before parting with your money. Don’t let greed or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) take over!

Other rules of thumb:

  • If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • If you want to invest like a pro, do what pro investors are doing.

4. Never send money to someone you only met online

That handsome man who falls in love with you? That courier/customs officer? That representative of a wealthy person who named you for inheritance?

Sorry ladies and gents. Not legit.

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What other ways can Malaysians avoid being scammed?