SIBU: The number of people in the state being conned in loan scam continues to rise with 91 cases reported and losses amounting to RM767,171 from January to May 5 this year.
A total of 12 persons have been arrested for alleged involvement in these cases.
Sarawak commercial crime investigation department chief Supt Mustafa Kamal Gani Abdullah, in sounding the alarm bell on Monday (May 6), strongly advised people who were in need of loan to look to legitimate financial institutions instead of those offering quick and easy loan on social media.
"The people are advised not to be easily deceived with loan offered in social media like Facebook, websites, or phone applications which include WhatsApp, WeChat, Istagram and others.
"They should instead get it from either licensed financial institutions, registered cooperatives or licensed money lenders if they really need it," he said.
The loan taken by the public from these types of licensed companies, he said, were covered under the Financial Service Act 2013, Islamic Financial Service Act 2013, Co-operative Societies Commission Act 2007, Co-operative Act 1993, Money Lending Act 1951, and others.
Supt Mustafa said people in a time of financial difficulty must exercise caution or they could easily be cheated by loan scam syndicates.
To holders of bank accounts, he advised them not to lend it to any individuals.
"If the bank account is used by perpetrators of crime, the account holder could be charged in court if there's sufficient evidence," he warned.
He said any queries or suspicion regarding loan scams can be forwarded to the police either through WhatsApp or SMS to Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) Inforline at 013-2111222.
The public can also log in to http://ccid.rmp.gov.my/semakmule for information or advice concerning financial fraud.