KUCHING (Sept 12): Two senior citizens here have lost a total of RM383,000 after falling victim to a phone scam recently.
According to Sarawak police commissioner Datuk Mohd Azman Ahmad Sapri, the first victim is a retiree who is in his 70s, who was contacted by someone claiming to be from a courier company on Aug 24.
“During the conversation, the suspect claimed that the victim had received a parcel containing identification card and bank cards. The victim however denied the matter.
“The call was then connected to a ‘policeman’ from Ipoh, Perak who identified himself as ‘ASP Moktar’. The ‘policeman’ claimed there was an arrest warrant issued in the victim’s name for committing money laundering,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Following that, Mohd Azman said the victim was instructed to report all his savings before being directed to transfer money to several bank accounts for investigation purposes.
“The victim then proceeded to transfer the money in four transactions totaling about RM103,000 to two different bank accounts at the end of August 2023.
“The victim was also instructed to delete all the WhatsApp conversations and to discard the money transfer receipts,” he added.
Mohd Azman said the victim only realised that he had been scammed after informing his family members about the matter, and subsequently lodged a police report for further investigation.
In the second case, Azman said a clerk who is in her 60s received a phone call from an unknown woman claiming to be from the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Aug 10.
“During the conversation, the suspect claimed the victim had taken painkiller medications in a large quantity, which she denied.
“Following that, she was connected to a ‘Sgt Azlan’ from Perak Police Contingent. The ‘policeman’ told the victim that there was an arrest warrant issued in the her name for committing money laundering,” he added.
Mohd Azman said the victim was then instructed to make money transfers to several accounts for investigation purposes.
“The victim transferred her money in nine transactions totaling about RM280,000 to three different bank accounts from mid-August until early September.
“She only realised she had been scammed after the individuals failed to be contacted after the last money transfer transaction. She then lodged a police report for further investigation,” he added.
Meanwhile, 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.
The public 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 (NSRC) 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.