A letter was dropped on Jacob William’s mailbox yesterday. It was an invitation to join XYZ Fitness Club Centre. The letter explained all the ins and outs of the deal. However, Jacob has never given his contact or address to any person and was puzzled on how the Club managed to obtain his information. He suspected that his identity was stolen via the “21st century” style.

Jacob thinks he is always very cautious when it comes to putting personal information online and believes that his membership on social media websites would not be used by any party. Is this true?


Your profile information can be used by an identity thief. Cybercrime committed in social networks is fast rising.

Currently, we are relying on the cheating provisions in sections 417 to 420 of Penal Code to combat online ID theft.

Although not cyber specific, section 416 of the Penal Code states that anyone who cheats by personation, in other words, stealing someone’s identity shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or with a fine or with both.

Besides, in lieu of the recent Personal Data Protection Act 2010 has been passed in Parliament but has yet to be enforced, it must be noted that no one shall be able to use anyone’s personal data without the consent of the person. Stealing one’s personal information for some other commercial usage will definitely be caught under this Act 2010.

Thus, it is advisable that if you are a victim of identity theft, you must:

  1. Lodge a police report at the nearest police station;
  2. Inform Cyber999 via Malaysian Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT);

    Tel: 03-8992-6969, Office Hours: 1-300-88-2999
    Fax: 03-8945-3442, or mycert@,
    SMS: 019-281-3801 (24 hours),
    Mobile phone: 019-266-5850 (24 hours)
  3. Inform the social networking website you signed up for;
  4. Contact the National Registration Department at whichever branch if someone is using your identification card number to create credit or new accounts;
  5. Report your respective bank and close financial accounts that may have been compromised.

For more information, check out the booklet issued by Cyber Security Malaysia entitled “Keep Yourself Safe from Online Identity Theft” via:-

So, how much did you know about this Legal Myth?

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