PETALING JAYA: More than RM20mil in losses to loan scams have been reported to the police since the beginning of the year.
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob said data showed that 1,987 cases had been reported up to Tuesday (May 18).
"It is normal to use licensed moneylenders for personal spending, emergencies, business purposes and such, especially among small and medium business owners.
"However, these establishments have tight conditions that need to be met before any loans are approved.
"Crime syndicates have seen this as an opportunity to promote their 'services', with supposedly low-interest rates and fast processing," he said in a statement on Wednesday (May 19).
Comm Zainuddin said that once victims fall for the promise of a quick loan, the scammers would impose various fees in order to expedite the process.
Among the common charges imposed were legal, agreement and account activation fees.
"However, once payment has been made, the promised loan will not materialise," he said.
He urged caution when faced with such offers, adding that people should only deal with licensed moneylenders and in person.
"Remember that no payment is incurred before a loan is approved. All fees are normally deducted from the loan.
"Also, never give out your personal and bank information to strangers," he said.