IPOH: A Macau scam syndicate linked to at least 29 cases, with victims losing RM360,000, has been busted by police with the arrests of 22 individuals.
The syndicate had scammed victims by calling and pretending to be customer service officers from Telekom Malaysia or officers from the Terengganu Police headquarters.
The suspects, including three women, aged between 20 and 46, had been active since April 2018, and were previously based in Laos where their “telecommunication fraud” call centres were set up.
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Comm Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob said they were arrested on Tuesday during a raid.
“They get information about their victims from the Dark Web, or through sites such as MYEG, JPJ and SPR.
“So far, 29 cheating cases are linked to this group. In total, victims lost about RM360,000, ” he told a press conference at the Perak State Police Contingent headquarters yesterday.
Macau scams often start with a phone call from someone pretending to be from a bank, government agency or debt collector.
The scammer will claim that the victim owes money or has unpaid fines, often with a short window of less than an hour, to settle the payment or face “dire consequences”.
These unsuspecting victims will then be asked to make payments to get them off the hook.
Comm Zainuddin advised the public not to fall prey to such scams and avoid answering phone calls from unknown numbers.
When in doubt, the public should communicate directly with the agencies involved, he said, adding that many people revealed personal details when the caller used words such as “arrest” and “confiscate”.
“Never ever reveal personal details such as bank account, TAC, or pin numbers to a third party. To make sure the account number provided by the caller is not involved in cheating cases, check the details via ccid.rmp.gov.my/semakmule, ” he said.