New Straits Times (NST), reported Malaysians lost a total of RM302 million as a result of online fraud on Facebook and Instagram between 2021 and June 2023.

These frauds cost RM27 million in February 2023, with an extra RM100 million stolen by 330 victims in two weeks in March 2023.

In recent times, Malaysia has witnessed a concerning increase in online scams, with a notable surge in deceptive practices on popular social media platforms such as Facebook (FB) and Instagram (IG). As these platforms continue to connect people globally, they also provide fertile ground for cybercriminals to exploit unsuspecting users.

The Pervasiveness of FB and IG Scams

Social media scams have become increasingly sophisticated, and scammers are finding new ways to manipulate users on platforms like FB and IG. Common scams include fake investment schemes, fraudulent online shopping, phishing attempts, and identity theft. Cybercriminals often create convincing profiles, posing as trustworthy entities or individuals to lure users into their traps.

1) Fake Profiles and Impersonation

One prevalent tactic involves scammers creating fake profiles that closely mimic legitimate businesses, influencers, or even friends and family. These profiles are designed to deceive users into disclosing personal information or making financial transactions. Impersonation scams are particularly challenging to combat because they exploit the trust users place in their online connections.

2) Investment Scams

Malaysians have fallen victim to investment scams on social media, where scammers promise lucrative returns on investments. These scams often involve fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes, fake trading platforms, or bogus investment opportunities. Unsuspecting users may lose significant amounts of money before realizing they have been deceived.

3) Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are a common tactic used by scammers to trick users into revealing sensitive information such as login credentials or financial details. These attacks can occur through fake websites, direct messages, or even seemingly harmless posts that redirect users to malicious pages.

Preventive Measures:

To protect themselves from FB and IG scams, users in Malaysia should adopt proactive measures:

  1. Verify Profiles:
  • Always verify the authenticity of profiles, especially before engaging in any financial transactions or sharing personal information. Look for verification badges and check for consistent and legitimate content on the profile.
  1. Educate Yourself:
  • Stay informed about the latest scam tactics. Social media platforms often provide resources and guidelines on how to identify and report scams. Familiarizing yourself with these resources can help you recognize potential threats.
  1. Secure Your Accounts:
  • Enable two-factor authentication on your social media accounts to add an extra layer of security. Regularly update passwords and be cautious about linking third-party apps or services to your profiles.
  1. Exercise Caution with Investments:
  • Be sceptical of unsolicited investment opportunities and do thorough research before committing to any financial transactions. Consult with financial experts or reputable sources to validate investment opportunities.
  1. Report Suspicious Activity:
  • Report any suspicious profiles, posts, or messages to the respective social media platforms. Reporting scams helps platforms take swift action to remove fraudulent content and prevent further victimization.

As social media continues to play a significant role in connecting people worldwide, the rise of scams on platforms like FB and IG poses a serious threat to users in Malaysia.

 By staying vigilant, educating themselves about potential risks, and implementing security measures, users can actively contribute to creating a safer online environment. Social media platforms, regulatory authorities, and users must collaborate to combat these scams and protect individuals from falling prey to digital deception.

Condition Zebra provides Cybersecurity Solutions and Cybersecurity Training for public and private SMEs in various industries, Financial Services (Banks and insurance), Government Ministries and agencies, and Government-linked companies.

Our mission is to utilize a unique strategy of combining key technologies with expertise in Information Security and Risk Management so that clients are fully prepared to prevent and deal with cybersecurity incidents.

Condition Zebra’s Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solution is a comprehensive cybersecurity service that utilises the real-time threat detection and response capabilities of an EDR or XDR to detect, investigate, and respond to cyber threats.


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