Johor cops probe phone scams, investment frauds worth RM2.2 mil

23 Aug 2023 09:57pm
Kamarul Zaman
Kamarul Zaman

JOHOR BAHRU - A total of 35 investigation papers have been initiated within a span of six days, since Aug 17, involving online impersonation scams or 'phone scams' and investment fraud cases.

Johor Police Chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said these cases resulted in losses amounting to RM2.2 million, with victims in age ranging from 35 and 80 years old.

He said 22 investigation papers linked to 'phone scams' with losses totaling to RM1.43 million while 13 cases of investment fraud recorded losses of RM808,564.

"For phone scam cases, most victims suffered losses ranging from RM2,000 to RM284,831.

"Investment fraud cases, on the other hand, recorded losses between RM2,260 and RM275,141.

"Two cases recorded losses exceeding RM200,000," he said.

Kamarul Zaman said online scams typically involve impersonating enforcement agencies, including the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), other agencies and even delivery companies.

"These syndicates would contact victims, claiming the victims are involved in illegal activities and that their bank accounts would be frozen, followed by their arrest.

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"These calls would be redirected to different agencies, offering solutions to the cases, requiring victims to make payments or transfer money to specified accounts under the pretense of investigations, with a promise of later reimbursement.

"Subsequently, panicked and frightened victims would comply with the instructions, only realising they were tricked after the suspects become unreachable," he explained.

For investment fraud cases, Kamarul Zaman revealed that syndicates would use social media platforms like Facebook and Telegram.

He said these syndicates would promote investments by promising substantial returns within a short period with minimal capital.

"These syndicates also share successful investment testimonials with high returns.

"Victims would be enticed to invest, depositing money into specified accounts as instructed.

"Victims only realise they were deceived when they receive no returns and are removed from the investment group.

"Cases like these are investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code," he added.

Furthermore, he advised the public to be vigilant and seek information related to scams from the Commercial Crime Investigation Department's social media pages to stay informed about the latest modus operandi employed by the syndicates.

He advised victims to contact the National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) at 997 to block the flow of money to the suspects' accounts.