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KUALA LUMPUR: Global analytics software firm FICO in its latest global consumer fraud research, revealed that 32 per cent of Malaysians are most concerned about being tricked into making payment to a criminal, which exposes individuals to instant, irrevocable losses rarely eligible for reimbursement.

According to FICO in a statement, the survey sheds light on Malaysians’ ongoing apprehension regarding real-time payment scams amid the growing adoption of new, convenient, and fast payment channels.

Additionally, concerns about identity theft persist, with over 25 per cent of Malaysians citing it as their top financial crime concern in which this type of fraud carries additional risks beyond financial loss, such as compromised credit scores and the challenging process of restoring financial integrity.

Real-time payment scams are on the rise, with a concerning 76 per cent of Malaysians have received unsolicited text messages, emails, phone calls, or other outreach that they believed to be part of a scam, while 54 per cent respondents stated that their friends or family members had been victims of a scam.

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Despite widespread concern about identity theft, there is a noticeable dissonance between perception and reality among Malaysians whereby about 32 per cent believe it unlikely they have been a victim, while 18 per cent see it as possible, and 17 per cent are confident their identity remains untouched.

Moreover, only seven per cent of Malaysian respondents reported their stolen identity being used to open a financial account, an increase from nearly six per cent in 2022. However, given Malaysia’s adult population, this seven per cent translates to over 1.6 million individuals.

Interestingly, this rate was much higher in other countries surveyed, with 13 per cent of Indians and 12 per cent of Thais saying their identity had been stolen and used to open an account by a fraudster.

Hence, fraud protection is paramount, with ease of use and good fraud protection ranking as top considerations for selecting financial services providers.

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These were both considered significantly more important than good customer service, strong anti-money laundering policies, sound green/environmental policies, ethical use of customer data, behaving fairly, and good value for money.

The survey was conducted in November 2023 with 1,000 Malaysian adults surveyed, along with approximately 12,000 other consumers in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Spain.