75-year-old retiree loses over half million in phone scam ordeal

10 Jan 2024 12:52pm
Pix for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX
Pix for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX

JOHOR BAHRU - An elderly man lost a total of RM540,047.97 to a phone scam syndicate.

Johor police chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said his team received a report from a 75-year-old retiree of a private company who claimed he had fallen victim to phone scammers.

He said the senior citizen claimed to have recevied a phone call via the WhatsApp application in November last year in which the caller asked the victim to press the Number 9 (on the keypad) and after doing so, the call was connected to an individual claiming to be a police officer.

"The ‘police officer’ informed the victim that there was a criminal record registered in the victim's name. The call was then transferred to another individual who introduced himself as a senior police officer who stated that the complainant would be arrested and remanded," Kamarul Zaman said in a statement today.

"The victim was asked to lodge a report online and then asked to follow all the instructions given. Due to fear, the victim followed the officer's instructions by withdrawing money amounting to RM543,000.00 from his account and depositing it into another account which also belonged to him."

Kamarul Zaman said the victim followed the man's instructions to leave his automatic teller machine (ATM) card, along with the pin number of the account, where the RM543,000.00 was deposited at the location he had instructed.

According to him, the victim began to be suspicious when a check on his bank account early last month found that there was a transfer of money amounting to a total of RM540,047.97 out of the account to several nominees whom the complainant did not recognise.

"The complainant then suspected he had been duped and lodged a police report. The case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code," he said.

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"Police advise the public to always be vigilant and take precautions especially in matters involving financial transactions, in addition to following the Commercial Crime Investigation Department's social sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok to obtain the latest information related to the modus operandi of commercial crimes.

"Apart from this, the public is urged to use the police's "Semak MULE” online application and website before making any payment and to download the Whoscall application to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of fraud, If you have been a victim of fraud, contact the National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) at 997 as soon as possible," he added. - BERNAMA