PETALING JAYA: Members of the public are advised to remain vigilant and not be duped by syndicates running Macau scams, incidences of which are on the rise.
IGP secretariat corporate communications chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Asmawati Ahmad said that recently, police had been receiving many reports from victims who were duped by scammers claiming to be from banks or even the police.
"It is categorised as telecommunications fraud, or better known as the Macau scam.
"It is masterminded by syndicates in Taiwan and China, which use international phone numbers from Hong Kong as well as Malaysia," she said.
Macau scam syndicates use several modus operandi to fool its victims – phone calls to inform of lucky draw winnings, calls to demand ransom for a kidnap victim, as well as spoofing, where syndicate members pretend to be police personnel or bank officials.
"Spoofing is done using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), that enables the caller to mask their number to resemble any number.
"Scammers will often call and pose as police personnel to inform the victims that they are being 'investigated' for illegal activities.
"The victims are then required to transfer their savings to another account to prevent the account from being frozen," said SAC Asmawati, adding that another favourite method employed by the scammers is posing as Bank Negara officials on the pretext of informing the victim of credit card fraud.
Another method used is duping victims into paying a certain amount of tax in order to claim their prize.
"Scammers will call the victims and inform them that they have won a certain luxury prize.
"They will ask the victims to transfer money into a bank account but in the end, the victims never receive any prize," she said.
SAC Asmawati reminded the public not to follow instructions from such dubious callers.
"They must first verify the authenticity of such calls with the police or any financial institution.
"Don't call the number given or used by the scammers. Instead, get the official phone numbers of the company or organisation mentioned for further verification," she said.
She also cautioned the public never to divulge their bank account, ATM or credit card details to an unknown caller.
"The public can also log in onto the Bank Negara web portal to get the latest information on financial fraud," she said.
SAC Asmawati urged those targeted by scammers to come forward and lodge a police report as soon as possible.