PSA: Digital Marketing Scam Case In Malaysia
As the digital industry continues to grow, impersonation scams have also been on the rise. Many brands have had to release statements in recent years to combat digital marketing scam. Unfortunately, it’s now our turn as well.
Yes, we’re a digital marketing agency, but No, Primal Malaysia does not offer employment opportunities or cash rewards via messaging nor social media platforms. Unfortunately, the Primal Malaysia name has been used by irresponsible parties to impersonate us to conduct a job employment and rewards scam.
Primal Malaysia has reported the impersonation to the authorities, and it’s about time we clear the air and provide some information on how to not fall for these scam cases in Malaysia.
Table of Contents
How The Scam Works
Step 1: Contact You With A “Lucrative” Job Opportunity
You will receive a message from an unknown number offering you a part-time job that sounds too good to be true. And yes, it usually is. The scammers will offer you a job where you can earn up to RM200 daily for something very simple. Your “mission” will be to improve an e-commerce profile for an online seller by purchasing their products. The big catch? You have to pay first. and after, you will get a commission when you complete the “mission”.
The syndicate members introducing themselves with the promise of freelance opportunities.
As we can see in the above screenshots shared with us, the main modus operandi of the scammers would be to introduce themselves as Primal Malaysia, a digital marketing agency based in Kuala Lumpur.
The scammer providing the task steps in detail.
A major recurrence of the task seems to be adding the “product” into your shopping cart, which will then be considered a “completed mission”.
Primal Malaysia does not employ any individual to recruit employees through messaging platforms such as WhatsApp. Interested in joining our team? Check out our vacancies at our official website or LinkedIn page.
Step 2: Gain Your Trust
If you haven’t sniffed out the scam yet, the scammer will try a few tactics to gain your trust. They will get ahold of your personal details by providing you with a “staff entry form” to fill out. The scammer will also ask for personal information such as your full name, IC number, age, gender, nationality, contact number, occupation, and bank account number.
After that, they will add you to a group chat with other scammers posing as co-workers, giving you a false sense of trust. Your fake co-workers will provide stellar reviews of the job opportunity to make you believe it is legit.
From the number provided, the victim will be added into a WhatsApp group with more scammers posing as co-workers.
Next, the scammers will give you your first “mission”. It will be a small one as you need to be a VIP to earn higher commissions. They will task you to add an item from Shopee/Lazada/PGMALL into your cart, screenshot it as proof and send it to the WhatsApp group. Next, you’ll have to transfer the amount to an external bank account. For example, if you are tasked to transfer RM100, they will transfer RM110 back to you as a reward. So, now you’re thinking, “the more you transfer, the more you make” and “they returned my money with additional commission”. This is where you will start to fall into the scammer’s trap.
Step 3: Completing The Scam
After some time, the scammers will ask you to transfer more substantial amounts of money. Since you transfer more money, you’ll think you’ll get a higher commission. However, this time, they will not return your money. The scammers will claim that there is an issue with the banking system and they can’t transfer money back to your bank account yet. Before you know it, you’ve just lost a substantial amount of your hard-earned money.
Once the scammer has extracted a desired amount of money, they will start feigning “banking issues”.
Avoid Being The Next Online Scam Case in Malaysia with These Tips
Let’s face it, these online scammers are getting more “creative” with their schemes by the day. There’s just no stopping them entirely. You may think that you’d never be susceptible to online scams, but did you know that a total of 51,631 online scam cases were reported in Malaysia (2019-2021), amounting to a total loss of RM1.61 billion?
Prevention is always better than cure, and it applies in this context as well. Here are five things that you must take note of to avoid potentially being the next online scam victim.
- If any online purchases or payments are required from your end, it’s a big no-no. Successfully securing a job is based on your merits, any form of upfront payment to get a job is sure to be a scam.
- While it is common for employees to provide confidential information such as bank details to their employers, it is only after confirmation of employment is established. No company would request your bank details before a job offer has been made.
- Always, always, always do your research. A quick Google search on the company, recruiter, or employer will take no more than 5 minutes and will help to clear up any doubts you may have about the job listing. You may even directly contact the company and ask if the job posting is legit (highly advised to do so!)
- Go over the job offer with a trusted friend or family member. If it sounds too good to be true, ask for a second opinion.
- Jobs that require you to “act fast”. This is a commonly used tactic by scammers so that your money can be transferred to them as quickly as possible.
How Do I Report a Scammer in Malaysia?
If you, unfortunately, have been scammed, gather your evidence. If there are any transactions, contact your bank first to halt any transactions. The next thing you must do is lodge an official police report with all your transactions and communication records so that relevant authorities can take appropriate actions against them. Did you know that if convicted under Section 415 of the Penal Code, an online scammer can face up to three years in prison?
Authorities to Call
Gather all necessary information: sender’s name & contact details, screenshots/evidence of fraudulent job ads such as chat history, individual/organization’s profile, bank details, payment receipts (if any) and even social media accounts if possible. Once you’re done lodging a police report, you can also lodge a complaint under the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) through their online complaint platform. Alternatively, you can also employ SEMAKMULE, a PDRM platform and Bank Negara Malaysia to check any bank accounts and phone numbers used by the syndicates.
If you’ve skimmed right through to this summary portion, we encourage you to take some time to go through the article. As a Public Service Annoucement (PSA), make sure to be constantly vigilant online and be aware of every scam case in Malaysia, and messages promising you easy money when you perform a number of tasks.
Once again, make sure you stay aware of any financial transactions happening in your bank accounts and report to the aforementioned authorities in the case of any untoward incidents!
Primal Malaysia would never resort to soliciting sensitive information through any third-party channels.
If you’re interested in a real job opportunity at Primal, visit our website and check out our vacancies.