alert! Digital Asset Scams in Malaysia

Many of the techniques used by financial criminals are also used by cryptocurrency scammers, such as pump-and-dump schemes that convince investors to buy a product by inflating its value or outright attempts to steal digital assets.

The latter kind of scam can entail accessing a victim’s cryptocurrency wallet or convincing an investor to transmit a digital asset as payment for a fictitious transaction.

It is always the intention to use coercion to get the victim to reveal personal information or send priceless digital assets, like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), to the perpetrator’s account.

Why, despite the numerous headline-grabbing stories about cryptocurrency scams that have appeared both nationally and internationally, are they still on the rise in Malaysia?

The alluring and quick return on investment may be the cause of this. Success tales of people who were fortunate enough to make money from this investment inspired others to follow in their footsteps.

After all, cryptocurrency investments are legitimate and do exist. The Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Financial Sector Blueprint 2022–2026 and Malaysia Fintech Report 2022 both highlight the huge potential in Malaysia as our financial sector rapidly adopts Fintech and digitalization.

• Examine the risk, return, and investment model to determine whether it is rational.

• Whether a cryptocurrency investment is permitted, Muslims can review the Fatwa that has been issued on the subject and see if there are any conditions under which it is prohibited. The Shariah Advisory Council (SAC) has numerous further recommendations for Islamic investments.

• When in doubt, you can inquire about the licencing status of a local or foreign investment company or find out if there have been any recent warnings issued regarding cryptocurrency investments by contacting the Compliance Officer from Bank Negara Malaysia, Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Cybersecurity Malaysia, or other relevant authorities.

• If you realised you had been conned, you shall report it to the National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) and give the authorities the pertinent information.

• To see if the bank account number of the investment account is associated with any records of police reports, visit the website of the Royal Malaysian Police Commercial Crime Investigation Department, which is backed by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA), as well as the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

• The bank officers may halt a transaction when the amount is suspicious in order to perform their due diligence. If a bank officer advises you not to move forward with the transaction without providing a justification, heed their warning. They typically know the fundamental information about the account you were sending money to. If you have transferred the funds but then regretted it, call the bank right away to reverse it.