KUCHING (Sept 9): A local businessman here lost RM136,000 after falling to a phone scam back in July 6 this year.
Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Mohd Azman Ahmad Sapri in a statement today said the scam started when the victim, who is in his late 50s, was contacted by a person claiming to be from the Ministry of Health.
“During the call, the scammer said the victim lodged a report to the ministry. The victim denied he ever lodged a complaint, and was later referred to another caller who claimed to be a police personnel from the Perak Police Contingent Headquarters.
“The scammer then said the victim was involved in money laundering activities and a warrant of arrest against him had been issued,” he said.
Mohd Azman said this caused the victim, who at the time was in Lachau, Sri Aman, to become panicked.
On July 7 at 3pm, the victim opened up a new Bank Rakyat account at Jalan Tun Jugah under the scammer’s orders.
“The victim was also told to provide them with the banking details, delete all their WhatsApp conversations and to also destroy the new ATM card that came with the account,” he said.
The victim also made four online transfers of his savings totalling RM136,000 to the new bank account.
He only realised he had been scammed after checks on his balance inside the new savings account revealed the money had been transferred out in eight transactions to two unknown bank accounts.
The public are advised not to entertain unknown phone calls and to immediately notify their partners, friends or family members should they receive such phone calls as well as to check with the police, banks or related agencies for confirmation.
They should not provide bank details to unknown individuals or parties and should refrain from registering the suspects’ phone numbers for their online banking.
Contact the National Scam Response Centre on 997 if you are a victim of cyberscams (phone scam, love scam, e-commerce, non-existent loans) and if you have just made a money transfer to a suspect’s bank account or e-wallet.
The public can also download the Whoscall app via the Google Play Store or Apple Store to identify numbers listed in the Semak Mule System database or scan the QR Code on the Commercial Crime Investigation Department’s (CCID) social media accounts and commercial crime e-books to get the latest information on commercial crime modus operandi.
Contact the CCID Infoline on 013-211 1222 via WhatsApp or SMS to receive advice or provide information on online criminal cases, or check suspected phone numbers and bank accounts through the Check Scammers CCID app or http://semakmule.rmp.gov.my before making any transactions.
Visit the CCID’s official social media accounts (@JSJKPDRM and @CYBERCRIMEALERTRMP) on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to get information on the latest fraud modes of operation.