Close to 2,000 fraud cases linked to cryptocurrency have been recorded in the country, involving a loss of more than RM191 million.

Bukit Aman's Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) chief Zainuddin Yaacob told Sinar Harian that the cases were recorded from 2019 until February this year.

The five most common types of fraud were in buying and selling of cryptocurrency, investment, false currency mining, cryptowallet hacking, and ransomware.

"Until February this year, 268 cases were recorded, involving losses of RM9.3 million," he said, adding that the police have detained 169 people in connection with the frauds, in the corresponding period.

According to Zainuddin, the modus operandi used by the fraudsters are convincing their victims to buy digital currency from them by transferring money into their bank accounts, but after they receive the money, they don't transfer the digital currency to the victims' cryptowallets as promised.

As for investing in the virtual currency, victims are falsely promised multiple returns on their investment.

To convince potential victims, the fraudsters would hold grand events at posh hostels, where they will show off luxury cars, bungalows and expensive European holiday photos, allegedly earned from investing in the scheme.

Investors will also shown images or videos of bitcoin mining activities, and asked to invest money in the activity to gain more, whereas in fact, such activities are non-existent.

Hackers have also hacked cryptowallets of victims, and transferred all the digital money in it to their own wallets. This is done via gaining access to the victim's mobile phone, of computer.

"In instances of ransomware, individuals with hacking skills will lock a victim's computer, and ask for a ransom amount in the form of cryptocurrency, to regain access to their computer or server," said Zainuddin.

Given the facts, the top cop urged people to be wary of cryptocurrency schemes, as to date, no such schemes have been given the greenlight to operate in Malaysia by Bank Negara.

Those who wish to seek information on cryptocurrency related schemes can do so by contacting the CCID Scam Response Centre at 03-26101559 or 03-26101599, or the CCID Infoline at 013-2111222.

Source: Sinar Harian
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