JB man, woman lose RM394,000 in separate Macau scam cases

JOHOR BARU: Two people here have lodged police reports claiming total losses of RM394,000 to telephone scams or Macau scams.

Johor police chief Comm M. Kumar said the victims lodged their reports on Friday (April 19) and Saturday (April 20).

"In the first case, a self-employed 32-year-old man received a phone call on April 16 from an individual claiming to be a customer service representative claiming that prohibited items had been sent out using his personal details.

"The call was then connected to someone claiming to be a police officer who told the victim that his bank account was involved in a cheating case.

"The victim was then instructed to make payments to resolve the matter," he said in a statement here on Sunday (April 21).

Comm Kumar said the victim then followed the instructions given and made 15 online transactions to eight different bank accounts amounting to RM234,000.

He added that the second case involved a 30-year-old woman civil servant who received a phone call on March 19, using a similar modus operandi.

Comm Kumar said the second victim made two online banking transactions amounting to RM160,000.

"In both cases, the victims were encouraged to make payments to the accounts directed as they were afraid of legal action being taken against them.

"(They did not check with) anyone, even their own family members," he said, adding that police have classified the cases under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

Comm Kumar added that so far this year, police in the state had received 148 reports of phone scams involving total losses of more than RM5.8mil.

He said police have conducted a number of awareness campaigns, including on social media, and always advise the public to remain vigilant against scammers.

Comm Kumar reminded people to be careful when conducting any transactions and to use the "Semak Mule" as well as "Whoscall" applications to avoid being scam victims.

Those who have fallen for a scam should call the National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) at 997 as soon as possible as an early step to block the transfer of money into the suspects' bank accounts.

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