The 8 Most Common Scams in Malaysia and Singapore - GCG Asia

Scams Are Rising at A Rapid Rate. GCG Asia Investigates the Dangers of Scams and How to Protect Against It

Scamming is a form of a deceitful, dishonest act performed usually by a business or an individual. It is basically taking advantage of trusting individuals. There are plenty of different scamming techniques out there, which can be anything from promising a certain amount of goods or service that they never supply, or simply sending a fake SMS in an attempt to acquire your personal information. Those SMSes are mass-marketed, meaning one scammer sends it to several numbers in different countries.

More than half of the scams happening worldwide involve encouraging individuals to invest heavy sums and promising high returns without any financial risk. With many scams being online-based scams, aided by modern technology, they are constantly evolving! GCG Asia Latest News explains.

“Due to the current pandemic, a whole new set of scams related to Covid-19 are all over the Internet. Unfortunately, many have already fallen for it. Due to the variety and number of scams out there, it’s usually difficult to trace the scammer, most of them are quite experienced in hiding their tracks.” says GCG Asia CEO and Founder Eddy Teow. 

Scammers constantly invent new convincing and seemingly legitimate reasons to ask for pre-payments such as to cover the processing fees or taxes.


In order to avoid scams, you need to familiarize yourself with the most common repetitive types of scams. The GCG Asia Scam Finder development team sheds the light on competition scams.  Competition scams usually involve a variety of text messages or emails from an overseas lottery company. The content of the message usually claims you’ve won a certain prize, and they are simply waiting for you to provide them with your bank information so they can transfer the award money. This type of scam may be considered outdated, but it still happens.

Hacking is usually done by a scammer through phishing emails. Those emails trick you into giving them access to your personal device. The email attachment usually includes a link that is very tempting to view. Once you click the link a malicious software will be installed giving the hacker remote access to the content of your device. From there they can scan your device for personal information such as your online bank login details. So, avoid opening emails from unknown senders, and also having protective software such as the upcoming GCG Asia Scam Finder can help you protect your data. 

Being aware of the types of scam that are affecting every day Malaysians and Singaporeans.

GCG Asia Malaysia and Singapore are most concerned to read the increasing reports of Malaysians being among the most vulnerable to scams. Every Malaysian has encountered a type of scam in the past or knows someone that has been scammed. With the Covid-19 pandemic’s Movement Control Order in Malaysia, scammers moved their operations to the internet. Scams have reportedly increased 82.5% in Malaysia in less than one year during Covid-19 times. According to local officials between January 2020 to September 2020, 4,764 Macau scams have occurred incurring losses of more than RM200 million. 

Here are the most common types of scam that are constantly happening in Malaysia and Singapore according to GCG Asia:

  1.     PPE (personal protective equipment) fraud

  GCG Asia analyst Ben Foo warns us that unfortunately unscrupulous people are taking advantage of the current state of the world. “Covid-19 has affected every household and yet scammers find a way to make it worse. There have been hundreds of reported cases involving face mask scams where the purchaser never receives any face masks some including RM600,000 worth of masks. Other fraudsters promoted drugs that falsely claim to heal the coronavirus infection,” he said. 


  1.     Illegal money lending activities

There have been many reported cases of illegal lending activities of companies posing under fake licenses as legitimate money lenders. They would ask for ‘down payments’, ‘deposits’ and run away with your money. A great deal of these numbers can be found at the GCG Asia Scam finder.


  1.     Investment scams

Getting a high return for your cash, particularly in a short time can be alluring that makes people rush into getting scammed. Con artists utilize these strategies to exploit simple Malaysians who need to make fast money in a short amount of time without working hard for it. Investment scams also include a Mecca Investment that is directly targeted towards Malaysian Muslims. The scammer tempts the individual to invest in the holy city of Mecca in exchange for profit that can go up to 360%.


  1.     Macau scams 

According to GCG Latest News, a Macau scam involves a person that gets contacted by an individual acting as a government official or a bank accusing the person of being involved with criminal activities. The scammers then inform the individual that they are under suspicion and need to be investigated for criminal offences such as tax evasion or drug trafficking. Using a psychological strategy that is utilized with the goal of putting the person into a panic who will then promptly move cash into the fraudsters’ account to “settle” or “solve” the bogus investigation right away.


  1.     Phone Scams

  Who among us has not received a shady phone call from a strange number that just left our eyebrows raised? As you may have expected, these phone calls are most probably scammers trying to get to you. It is best that you never answer these overseas phone calls unless you confirm it is a legitimate number. One way you can prevent getting scammed by these calls is by getting the upcoming GCG Asia Scam Finder that uses algorithms to detect websites and phone numbers that will help you spot the scam before it is too late.


  1.     Love scams  

Occurring commonly on social dating platforms such as Tinder, these scams mostly target older lonely women. The scammer usually creates a different persona that appeals to the ladies, usually impersonating a Caucasian man that stays in contact with her for a prolonged period of time thus gaining her trust and heart. After spending many hours in contact, the scammer tells the victim to transfer money to help him out with legal troubles. Through that process, the victim gets defrauded through a series of steps from made-up websites to fake officials that are in on the act.


  1.     Cryptocurrency scams

Cryptocurrency tricks are a mainstream way for con artists to fool individuals into sending cash.  Most crypto tricks can show up as messages attempting to falsely incriminate somebody, or as false speculative activities and business returns. Scammers try their absolute best to trick you into sending cash or to make an instalment with Bitcoin or another kind of cryptographic money. When you do, your cash is gone, and there is no real way to get it back. Although they may promise you that there is a high return on investment but you will never see a return on the investment. “Unfortunately these kinds of schemes are on the rise in many Asian countries including Malaysia and Singapore,” GCG CEO and Founder Eddy Teow tells us.


  1. Online shopping scams 

Another common form of scam involves a scammer who will usually display a product promoting it with promises of great quality, including fake reviews created to push sales. However, the product received is usually faulty or of low quality, and some may not even deliver anything. GCG Asia Malaysia and Singapore warn that scammers might pretend to sell a product or service just in order to obtain your credit card details. You can simply avoid falling into this by shopping only at reputable verified sites. 

Lastly, there are plenty of charity scams as well. Scammers usually exploit recent crises or natural disasters that are all over the news to cash in some quick money. They will create a fake charity website so that people can donate a certain sum online. However, the money won’t reach any of those who need help. Make sure if you’re donating any money to call in and double-check that the charity organization exists. Medical scams are also common, promising a newly discovered cure that promises quick recovery, they promote the treatments using fabricated reviews from individuals who have been cured. If a cure is being advertised with lots of reviews and it seems too good to be true, chances are it’s another common scam! 

Luckily one of the solutions to combat scams is GCG Asia upcoming Scam Finder, which includes an algorithmic study of scammers information such as numbers, names, websites, images, being collected into a database which experts at the GCG Asia Scam Finder team hope to help organizations as well as individuals in finding and reporting scams.



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