Police authorities urge attention amid rising telecoms hoaxes | #datingscams | #lovescams

Police authorities have called on members of the public to stay vigilant following a year-on-year rise in telecommunications scams.

Talking on a TDM
phone-in show on Monday morning, Sou Sio Keong, a deputy director at the
Judiciary Police (PJ), said that there had been a high incidence of telecoms
fraud in Macau and neighbouring regions, driven by the widespread application
of the internet and mobile apps.

Official figures suggest that as much as MOP160 million (US$20 million) has been compromised in telecoms scams in the first eight months of 2023.

The reported cases
included honey traps, pig-slaughtering (a scam designed to trick victims into
investing money in a fraudulent scheme or business venture), and online dating.

“Eradicating fraudulent
activities has proven challenging due to the cases’ cross-border nature, high
level of concealment, significant profitability, and relatively low risk
involved,” Sou said.

In order to prevent
local residents from falling prey, local banks established a mechanism in 2019
in cooperation with the police authorities to preempt suspected money transfers.

According to the PJ representative,
more than MOP17 million has been stopped from ending in the hands of scammers.  

On a separate note, the
police authorities are currently studying the possibility of extending the iris
recognition technique adopted at the Border Gate checkpoint for border crossing
purposes to the rest of the city’s immigration halls from next year.

Government figures
suggest that over 100,000 border crossers have made use of the system that
covers 10 channels, with an average of 7,600 users per day.

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