One in 10 M’sians fall victim to identity theft

by MARK RAO / graphic by TMR

RAM Credit Information Sdn Bhd said one in 10 Malaysians fell victim to identity theft due to the country’s rapid digitalisation that exposes the public to greater credit risks.

According to the credit reporting agency’s 2016 survey, 14% of respondents said they had fallen victim to identity theft, while the other 26% said they knew someone who had experienced it.

Identity theft includes stolen personal details being used to transfer funds out of a victim’s account, as well as for loan and credit card applications. Most victims are caught unaware until they face huge outstanding bills or their loans and other applications are rejected due to unfavourable credit status.

RAM Credit Information said this affects an individual’s reputation and finances, therefore, the only way to combat this issue, is to have regular credit monitoring.

Its CEO Dawn Lai said amid Malaysia’s advancing digital landscape, the protection of personal details with passwords is insufficient.

“Consumers must be more diligent in regularly reviewing their credit reports and keeping them updated,” she said in a statement this week.

“That way, they will be notified immediately if there are changes to their credit status or if someone illegally uses their particulars.”