‘Victims mostly from private sector’

KUALA LUMPUR: People who work in the private sector were the most susceptible to being duped by scamsters, followed by civil servants, while the unemployed came in third.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob said the private sector contributed the bulk of victims as far back as 2017.

According to CCID records, over the last four years, 3,744 victims from the private sector have lodged police reports over Macau scams.

“Civil servants came in second with 1,104 victims lodging reports since January 2017, ” he told The Star recently.

Comm Zainuddin said in 2020, those from the private sector led the tally with 947 victims, followed by 283 civil servants, the unemployed (245), retirees (219), businessmen (132), teachers (66), students (53), private sector clerks (35), government sector clerks (6), and the security sector (two).

He said between January and October 2020,1, 988 cases were reported involving losses of at least RM158mil compared to the 2,466 cases reported the previous year that caused RM121mil in losses.

Comm Zainuddin said Macau scam syndicates used fear as a weapon when dealing with their targets.

“Their tactics are to pose as law enforcement personnel and use intimidation and threats to strike fear in their victims.

“The modus operandi has not changed much: they will say that you are under investigation for something, and will intimidate you and threaten to put you behind bars, ” he said, adding that from January 2018 to Oct 31,2020, Macau scam syndicates caused massive losses amounting to RM420,155,727.

“In 2018,2, 060 cases were reported involving losses of RM139.79mil, in 2019,2, 466 cases involving RM121.85mil were reported.

“For 2020, while we see a decrease in reported cases at 1,988, losses have increased to RM158.5mil, ” said Comm Zainuddin.

He added that close to 1,000 suspects were arrested last year, compared to 886 suspects in 2019, and 1,090 suspects in 2018.

“Our records based on the 2,057 victims who came forward in 2018 show that the age group with the highest number of cases was those aged 51 and above (822).

“This is followed by the 31-40 age group (448), 384 victims from the 41-50 age group, 376 victims from the 21-30 age group, and 27 victims from the 15-20 age group, ” he said.

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