KUALA LUMPUR: Police have received 672 reports involving over RM90mil worth of losses in scams this year.
Nearly 70% of these cases or 467 reports involved online investments with losses estimated at about RM53mil between Jan 1 and July 15.
Acting commercial crimes investigation department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Saiful Azly Kamaruddin said some of these victims were contacted via social media by so-called online traders that touted expertise in cryptocurrency, forex and binary option-type investments.
“There were also cases where the website addresses or URL were genuine investment sites but the syndicates took advantage of their victims by not channelling their funds to the intended investments, ” he said.
He said police had to date identified 13 online investment platforms used by these syndicates to cheat victims.
Among them were i-Rakyat Trade, IQ Option, Global Investment and Wei Jian Zhi.
Police have classified i-Rakyat Trade as one of the top groups in the list to have been actively pursuing such an online scam.
On overall statistics, Comm Saiful said between January and June 2019, the department investigated 12,462 scamming cases, with losses estimated at RM2.9bil.
“This year for the same time period, we have investigated 14,050 cases, with an estimated loss of RM930mil. Last year, the losses were higher due to the fact that we had a few high-profile cases, ” he said.Meanwhile, police busted i-Rakyat Trade in a series of raids in the Klang Valley.
In the operation carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday, police nabbed 10 people aged between 19 and 31.
Comm Saiful said the group has been active since March.
“Investigations revealed the group offered four high returns for low investments ‘options’. For an investment of between RM800 and RM4,800, the returns ranged from RM10,800 to RM54,00 within two days.
“The group also offered lucky draws, which included cars, vacations and electronics worth about RM100,000, ” he said in a press conference yesterday.
To date, he said police have received 22 reports on i-Rakyat Trade with losses estimated to be around RM200,000.
He said the members of the group told their victims that their money would be reinvested in the oil and gas industry.
The group, he said, used social media to entice their victims.
Based on their investigations, the group members would also get commissions based on the number of people they successfully recruited to “invest” with them.
Based on police records, six of the suspects nabbed were previously involved in a scratch and win scam.
“These youngsters have no jobs but they have brains. Then they do things like this. And now they end up in handcuffs, ” he said.
He said police planned to use the Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act and Prevention of Crime Act to act against them.
Comm Saiful said they are looking for the mastermind behind i-Rakyat Trade.
He also urged other victims of these scammers to come forward to help in the investigations.
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