Over 7,000 love scams reported since 2018, mostly female victims

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 7,548 love scam cases had been reported from 2018 until June this year with losses reaching RM382mil.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said love scams contributed to a huge number of cases investigated using various modus operandi.

"Some 82.8% or 6,257 cases involved female victims. It might be because the victims were single women while male victims might not be so inclined to lodge reports for various reasons," he told a press conference after attending the launch of the trailer for the anti-love scam movie titled "Oppa" on Wednesday (July 12).

The movie produced by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and Dream Film, is based on a true story.

Comm Ramli said advanced technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) could be misused by irresponsible parties to conduct online scams.

"Before this, scams might have been limited to only texts and photos but AI technology can be used to appear more convincing.

"However, we have yet to receive any report on scams using AI," he added.

On the success of CCID blocking some RM28.3mil being transferred in a business email compromise (BEC) scam, Comm Ramli reminded the public, especially businessmen, who use email daily to be careful.

"Verify the email received is actually from an actual buyer or seller.

"Be wary if there is suddenly an instruction to transfer to a new account. Contact the company you are dealing with directly by phone to verify," he said.

It was previously reported that the CCID received a report on a BEC scam involving RM28.3mil in funds.

Comm Ramli had said that the police received the report on the scam on July 6.

"The victim's company, which is based in Malaysia, has been dealing with an overseas company to acquire liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) since early this year.

"In June, the victim's company received instructions from supposedly the supplier's company to transfer funds to a new account. Believing it, the victim's company transferred a huge sum.

"They only realised they were duped when the actual supplier informed them they had not received payment," he said.

With the assistance of Bank Negara, the CCID managed to track down the RM28.3mil being transferred to an overseas account and blocked the transaction, Comm Ramli said.

"We are still investigating under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating," he said.

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