FOR several years I have been reading of hardworking Malaysians, including many senior citizens, who have fallen victim to the Macau Scam.
On Nov 7, it was reported that RM400mil was lost to online scams in less than two years (bit.ly/star_macau).
People have lost their hard- earned money due to panic, misinformation and their failure to get themselves informed.
Clearly these scammers are smart and knew very well that nothing could be done even though police reports have been made.
I applaud the police for setting up several task force as well as the crime alerts on their social media pages. However, we all need to exercise our roles in stopping this madness.
There should be a more robust process by banks in detecting abnormality in the transactions of these would-be victims. If they lack big data or analytics, could there not be an internal/systems-based tip-off of “abnormal transactions?”
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission too must help by broadcasting warnings and alerts through phones and social media channels.
Youngsters, please share the news of Macau Scams with the elderly in your family and loved ones.
Children, please call your parents regularly. Another similarity of Macau Scams I have observed is that the victims often realise it was a scam after they have told their spouses or children.
Macau Scams are not new nor are they a rare occurrence. It happens almost every day in our country so why are people not keeping themselves informed by reading the news?
Most importantly, when there is a novel situation that warrants our immediate action, always take a moment to assess the situation objectively and question the details.
The scammers thrive on the panic that they give their soon-to-be victims. They cannot afford to let the potential victims get clarity of the situation.
This is how Macau Scams have become one of the longest-running in Malaysia.
Gombak, Kuala Lumpur