KUALA LUMPUR: There has been a drop in commercial crime in the city this year, with losses amounting to about RM242mil.
"This is a 19.5% drop compared to the same period last year," said Kuala Lumpur police chief Comm Datuk Mazlan Lazim after officiating a crime prevention program at Low Yat Plaza on Sunday.
He noted that there was a corresponding drop in the number of cases, which fell from 3,321 in 2016 to 2,341 so far this year.
He also said that most of the victims in the city fell for African scams and Macau scams.
"Even though the situation is still under control, we would rather have no one being cheated," he said.
Comm Mazlan also said that he has initiated plans to raise the public's awareness of such scams.
On the state side, Comm Mazlan said that he has pushed forward plans to have awareness engagements with the public once every two months.
"For the district level, they will be done monthly.
"Our goal is to inform the public about the existence of these scams. And that they can fall victim to them if they are not careful," he said.
A Macau scam is one where the perpetrator pretends to be a bank, government agency or debt collection agency officer. The victim is told to pay a fine or repay a debt – usually within a short period of time – or face dire consequences.
An African scam is one where the perpetrator preys on the victim's feelings after pretending to develop a romantic relationship with the victim, usually over social media. The victim is later tricked into parting with their money, sometimes by saying they had been arrested when coming to visit the victim, or to release an "expensive gift" that had been withheld by "government authorities", or other fake reasons.
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