PASIR GUDANG: Amid rising white-collar crime in the state, Johor police have uncovered a new tactic used by Macau Scam syndicates to recruit unsuspecting people into their ranks.
State police chief Comm Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said the syndicate targeted jobseekers by offering lucrative salaries through various social media platforms.
“Those who apply will then be brought to a particular location before being handed over to another group and made to scam victims.
“Police uncovered the matter when reports were lodged by those who went for 'interviews' conducted by the syndicate around Johor Baru recently,” he told reporters after a dialogue session on crime awareness with industry players and community representatives at the Taman Mawar Multipurpose Hall here on Wednesday (May 25).
Comm Kamarul Zaman also said that following the reports, police arrested five suspects earlier this week to help with investigations and were in the midst of locating other members of the syndicate.
In a related development, he said white-collar crime has been on the rise in Johor with losses amounting to more than RM158mil this year to date.
Johor recorded a total of 1,377 commercial crime cases from Jan 1 until Monday (May 23), up from 1,310 cases in the same period last year, he added.
“Last year, police recorded RM68mil in losses in commercial crime cases. Cheating was the highest with 1,242 cases, with illegal moneylending in second place with 66 cases and breach of trust, 32 cases,” he said.
He added that the breakdown of losses in commercial crime cases so far this year involved cheating (RM139mil), breach of trust (RM18mil), cyber crime (RM545,470), illegal moneylending (RM349,321) and property misuse (RM49,000).
Comm Kamarul Zaman urged the public to always be vigilant especially when contacted by unknown numbers through their mobile phones where the callers claimed to be representatives of enforcement agencies.
“Their modus operandi is simple as they claim to be police officers, or from the Inland Revenue Board or any other government agency to scare potential victims.
“They usually call their victims on weekends and people should know that government offices are usually closed then," he added.