IT was reported a few days ago that a 76-year-old housewife lost RM255,000 after being duped by a Macau scam syndicate, “10 suspects arrested for running loan scam” (The Star, Feb 25).
The woman received a telephone call from someone claiming to be a police officer from Kuala Lumpur who informed her that she was involved in money laundering activities. Fearing arrest, the victim conducted 11 bank transactions totalling RM255,000 to nine different accounts from Feb 13 to 21.
Every other day, we read of such scams and innocent people losing large amounts of money. The main target of scammers are pensioners, and their standard
procedure is to impersonate public officials such as the police, court personnel and officers from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
But isn’t it strange that the fraudsters seem to know their victims have money in the bank? This raises some questions: Are people close to the victims involved in the scams? Are banks inadvertently leaking information to the scammers?
On the latter, I believe that staff at banks need to be “busybodies” and intervene when they see unusual transactions in their customers’ accounts.
They could call the customer and ask for more information when they spot huge transactions being made online. The customer can be advised accordingly if foul play is suspected.
The police should infiltrate the phone scam syndicates, arrest the perpetrators and put a stop to Macau scams once and for all.
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