Cops: RM2bil lost to scams

KUALA LUMPUR: The country loses an average of RM2bil every year to scammers, says Bukit Aman.

The data, shared by the police, was tabulated over a period of five years.

“On average, cases under CCID (the Commercial Crimes Investigation Department) show losses of about RM2bil yearly.

“If we don’t do something about this, it may affect our economy,” Bukit Aman CCID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Zakaria Ahmad said.

Speaking to reporters yesterday after a forum on commercial crimes, he said e-commerce scams and telecommunication fraud topped the list of the most losses.

“We found that the phone numbers used for tele-scams are normally prepaid ones. They are used only once or twice.

“Most of them are linked to foreigners and without personal details such as IC or passport numbers,” he added.

He spoke of the poor manner that prepaid numbers were being issued.

“The government has already said you need to register (your personal information) to purchase a prepaid number.

“But many don’t do so. The sellers should have followed the instructions given,” he said.

Comm Mohd Zakaria also urged banks and other relevant parties to plug holes in their security to prevent leaks of personal information.

“Even I have received this type (scam) of calls. The info which they mentioned over the phone was correct.

“How did they know this type of information and who gave it to them? This is the problem,” he said.

Bukit Aman CCID deputy director (Cybercrimes and Multimedia investigation) Senior Asst Comm Victor Sanjos, who spoke at the forum earlier, urged the public to be wary on the Internet, especially in the context of love scams.

“I can’t stop anyone from falling in love. But it is my duty to advise. You have to be extra careful.

“It all boils down to money. These scammers will tell all sorts of stories but it always ends up about money,” he said.

The half-day forum was attended by participants from banks, NGOs and the police.

Meanwhile, Comm Mohd Zakaria said the police has detained 501 suspects under Ops Mule, which was held for two weeks until July 31.

He said the department would be more aggressive in hunting down scammers and their partners.

“If we can’t get the main players, we will start with the account holders,” he added.
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