Bukit Aman: Senior citizens made up 20% of RM2.7bil lost to scams in 2021-2023 period

KUALA LUMPUR: RM552.5mil of the RM2.7bil total lost to online scammers from 2021 to 2023 came from senior citizens, says Comm Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf.

The Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director said that although senior citizens made up 6.4% of the 86,266 victims duped by online scams over the 2021-2023 period, the losses they sustained are 20% of the total amount.

"It is a very significant number and quite worrying," he told a press conference at the CCID headquarters on Monday (May 27).

Comm Ramli said the trend is continuing this year with senior citizens losing RM130.4mil as of May 19.

"A total of 990 cases involving senior citizens have been recorded this year. They represent 8.3% of the 11,918 cases reported between Jan 1 and May 19.

However, their losses have reached RM130.4mil. This is 27.7% of the RM471.5mil total lost to online scams (this year)," he said.

Comm Ramli said that 47.6% of the 5,533 senior citizens who fell victim to online scammers between 2021 and 2023 lost money to telecommunication scams.

"Phone scams and SMS scams are some examples of telecommunication scams. As of May 19, the trend is similar as 39.4% of the 990 senior citizens who are victims fell prey to the same form of scams," he said.

Comm Ramli said a lack of knowledge on Internet-related matters might be one of the reasons senior citizens are duped by telecommunication scams.

"Only by using a phone, scammers could cause victims to panic and then dupe them," he added.

Comm Ramli advised the public to not entertain calls from unknown individuals, especially those who claimed to be from government entities.

"Agencies such as the police do not conduct investigations over the phone. If you receive such calls, end the call quickly and do not prolong the conversation," he said.

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