Scammers use new video call tactic to dupe victims

Elaborate scheme: A panicked victim will be connected to a syndicate member posing as a policeman through a video call. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Scammers are opting for a new tactic by making video calls to victims before convincing them to transfer their funds.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said a total of 34 police reports had been lodged involving losses of about RM1mil last year based on this new tactic dubbed e-reporting scam.

“A total of 14 police reports were lodged this year with losses reaching RM960,500,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Comm Ramli said the victim would first get a call from a person claiming to be from a courier company.

“The caller will create a situation where the victim will panic and follow all orders,” he said.

The call will then be connected to another syndicate member posing as a policeman through a video call, he said.

“Through the video call, the victim will be convinced to lodge an online report (e-reporting) and interact with a ‘police officer’ who is standing at a location with a background mimicking a police station.

“With such a backdrop, the victim will feel safe and give all information before transferring their funds,” he said.

Comm Ramli reminded the people to be careful and not be easily duped by such a modus operandi.

“We will not use video calls to receive police reports or conduct investigations.

“All investigation process will be conducted in person at any police station or premises owned by the police force,” he said.

Comm Ramli said e-reporting is developed by the police force to enable the public to lodge non-criminal report online.

“It is limited to lodging reports on missing documents or belongings and not connected to criminality,” he said.

In another case, the police are investigating a case where a man claimed he was cheated in a real estate deal by a lawyer with the title of Datuk.

Comm Ramli said the department received a report on the matter on March 16.

“According to the complainant, he met the lawyer in November last year and decided to hire the law firm to handle the sale of his land in Sepang,” he said.

The land was sold for RM1.4mil and the victim received RM381,110, he said.

“The suspect was supposed to manage the proceeds from the sale to settle payment to the Inland Revenue Board and hand over the balance to the victim.

“However, until now, the suspect has failed to do so,” he said.

In another case, Comm Ramli said the department has opened five investigation papers in connection with an investment scam using the name of Sabah Small and Medium Industry.

“The scheme has resulted in RM745,685 losses since January.

“The scheme promises RM1mil returns for every RM1,000 invested,” he said.

Comm Ramli advised the public to get reliable information from official sources such as the SemakMule portal, Alert List Bank Negara Malaysia, and Securities Commission before making any investment.

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