You Are In

  • Life Goals
  • Day To Day Banking
  • Deals & Promotions
  • Digital Services
  • Help & Support
  • Quicklinks

Identity theft is a real concern in Malaysia today, especially in our digital world. 


Scammers may use many new methods to trick you into a trap, so always stay savvy and protect yourself from financial losses and credit damage. Be smart, and stay safe!

Ways Criminals Obtain Your Personal Information


Criminals employ a diverse range of tactics to lure victims, combining offline or real-life phishing attacks with sophisticated online methods.


In light of this, it is crucial to remain vigilant and be aware of your online and offline activities to safeguard yourself from potential threats.


What are the methods that they might use to get your information?



Offline Methods:


Shoulder Surfing


Shoulder surfing is a form of visual eavesdropping used to gather information displayed on a person’s device screen or physical documents by peering over their shoulder.


Criminals secretly observe individuals entering their passwords, PINs, or other sensitive data in public places. 


Wallet Theft


A stolen wallet can result in significant consequences as it typically contains essential documents such as identification card, driver’s license, bank cards, and credit cards.


These documents enable thieves to make purchases, open new accounts, and apply for loans under the victim’s name.


Telephone Scams


Scammers pretend to be a representative of a legitimate financial institution to gain the victim’s trust. They use impersonation to manipulate unsuspecting victims to reveal sensitive information.

Online Methods:




Hackers lure victims to provide

personal information using realistic emails and mirror websites.


Due to their realistic appearance, victims are tricked into providing or confirming confidential information without verifying the authenticity

of these websites. 




Hackers use malicious software to steal sensitive information and monitor the victim’s online activities.


Spyware can infiltrate a person’s smartphone, laptop, and other devices, and silently collect their valuable information. 




Hackers redirect victims to

a fraudulent website by hijacking

the legitimate website’s domain name server (DNS).


Using a real IP address, pharming redirects victims through deceptive emails or links, mimicking

legitimate websites to capture

the victim’s personal details.


Social Networking Profiles


Criminals steal identities by piecing together information available on social networking sites.


While this information may seem harmless, profile elements such as full name, date of birth, and other affiliations can be used to carry out identity theft.

Smart Strategies to Safeguard Your Data

Here are three must-know strategies to safeguard your privacy and prevent unauthorised access or abuse:

Be Vigilant of Your Surroundings

Staying alert and observant is essential in mitigating the risk of identity theft. When outside, be mindful of strangers and shield your PINs or passwords. Also, always keep your personal belongings safe and within sight.

Monitor Your Online Habits

Remember to practice these Internet safety tips to prevent online identity theft:


  • Ensure any requests for personal information are from a legitimate source
  • Install reliable anti-spyware and anti-virus software
  • Never share more personal information than is required
  • Use a virtual private network (VPN) when using public Wi-Fi
  • Be cautious with emails and attachments
  • Regularly update and backup your data to the cloud

Stay Abreast of Your Financial Accounts

By being up to date on the status of your financial accounts, you can identify potential identity theft at an early stage and take immediate actions to safeguard your financial security.


To do so, you should review your account statements, monitor your credit report, and set up alerts for any unusual activities. If you're making a payment through your online banking, always ensure that the payment channel is secure. 


How to Tell If You’re a Victim of Identity Fraud

Here are some indicators that can help you determine if you're a victim of identity fraud:


Unusual Activity and Unauthorised Transactions


You discover unfamiliar charges, purchases, or withdrawals that you don’t recognise. You may also receive unexpected notifications from your banks or credit companies for activities that you didn’t initiate.


Changes to Account Information


Changes to contact information, billing address, or credit limits could be signs of identity fraud. Additionally, being unable to access your online accounts despite entering the correct login credentials is another indication of potential identity theft.


Unexpected Bills or Account Statements


You receive bills for goods or services you didn't purchase, someone may have incurred debts in your name. You might get calls from debt collectors for accounts you don't recognise or notices for debts you don't owe.


Denied Credit or Loan Applications


You received unexpected denials despite having a good credit score, someone may have used your personal details and damaged your credit. This also includes errors on your credit report, such as wrong personal information.


Essential Steps to Take if Your Identity is Stolen


Alert Your Banks and Credit Card Companies


Report the fraud immediately and freeze any affected accounts. It is vital to promptly report any suspicious activity to your financial institutions, as this plays a pivotal role in mitigating the impact of identity theft.


Lodge a Police Report


File a report at a nearby police station, together with supporting documents. Get a copy of the report as evidence when dealing with your financial institutions, credit bureaus, and other entities to set up fraud alerts.


Recover Your Account


If your account has been compromised, check with your banks or credit card companies about the steps needed to recover your existing account. Some institutions may require you to close the old account and reopen a new one.


Change Your Password


Start by changing the passwords for your online banking accounts, emails, and social media platforms. Use stronger passwords and never write down your passwords or share them with anyone. Also, avoid using the same password for different accounts.


Monitor Your Accounts


Regularly check your bank statements and keep track of any unrecognised activities. Enable account alerts to detect any unauthorised activities promptly. Lastly, obtain and review your credit reports, and report any discrepancies to your credit bureaus.


Stay Informed and Stay Safe


It’s pertinent to be aware of the warning signs of identity theft. By staying informed, implementing security measures, and acting swiftly, individuals can reduce the risk of falling victim to identity theft and lessen its impact.


Don’t forget to check out CIMB Security & Fraud Awareness and learn how CIMB prevents fraud and identity theft. Enhance your financial knowledge and gain more tips to secure your finances via our Life Goals section.



This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions towards positively improving welfare and well-being of communities. This is one of our many efforts to achieve CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.

#Money Scam Protection