Identity Theft : Present threat in Malaysia

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Identity theft is said to be the unlawful use of another person’s identifying facts such as name, date of birth, address, telephone, or other personal information[1]

Identity theft is a current threat in Malaysia and according to the surveys conducted by global analytics software firm Fico’s, 7% of the respondents know their identity has been stolen and used by a fraudster to open an account, while a further 12% believe it is likely to have happened.

The acknowledged level of risk from identity theft means there is a good understanding of why identity proofing is an integral part of the banking experience in Malaysia.[2]

As attitudes change and more people experience the benefits of digital banking there will be further opportunity for banks who adopt multichannel strategies and can engender trust in new channels.

The Malaysian legal system is yet to prohibit the stealing of another person’s identity under any specified section. However, if a perpetrator commits such an offence in Malaysia, he would be charged of theft under section 378 of the Penal Code as well since the section is worded in a broad manner to prohibit the theft of both tangible and intangible property. [3]


[1]Hoar, BS (2001) USA Bulletin, Identity Theft: The Crime of the New Millennium, retrieved from http://www.justice.gov


[3]Perpetrators of Credit Card Fraud: Criminal Perspectives in Malaysia and India [2018] 4 MLJ xlix

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