Scam: Better be safe than sorry

14 Jan 2024 08:00am
Photo for illustrative purposes only
Photo for illustrative purposes only

FOR many years fraudulent criminal activity by scammers has existed in this country.

In fact, every day we read news reports of Malaysians falling victim to all types of scams.

Those who are victims of scammers are not ordinary people. Not only retirees, housewives, gardeners or housewives, but professionals such as teachers and architects are no exception to being deceived by the syndicate.

Unfortunately, the amount of loss is not limited to thousands of ringgit, but some reach hundreds of thousands and millions of ringgit.

In other words, all savings disappear overnight due to too much trust in the persuasion or promise of the scammer.

In the latest incident in Johor Bahru, a clerk of a private company lost RM1.08 million of his savings when he was cheated by a scammer.

Likewise in a case in Kuantan, Pahang, a man who worked as a mosaic artist lost RM29,000 after meeting a ‘widow’ through phone calls and social media.

Even though the value of the loss does not reach hundreds of thousands of ringgit, but that may be the only savings the victim has.

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Consciously or not, the tactics used by scammers are actually simple. Just choose any victim at random and if their 'fishing' is correct, then you will get the result.

How long will Malaysians continue to be victims of this fraud?

Are we too dumb or too afraid of the threat that we are allegedly involved in a crime that was not actually committed?

Maybe we are blinded, it is said that we can get multiple profits by just making a short investment.

The police also categorised fraud into several types, such as Macau Scam, Love Scam, Parcel Scam, or impersonating friends and acquaintances to borrow money.

Although a lot of information and advice is channelled to the public by the authorities, including the display of fraud cases in the mass media, cases like this continue to increase and become more common every day.

The question arises, why are there still people who do not take warnings or advice from the incident?

The Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department previously revealed that financial fraud criminal cases increased by 37 percent to 32,366 cases in the period from January to November 2023, compared to the same period in 2022 which recorded 23,608 cases.

A survey by market research firm Ipsos Malaysia in its survey also found that three-quarters of Malaysians have been the target of fraud and this has increased in the last quarter.

Looking at this figure, the writer feels that our society needs to get rid of taking it for granted because it is actually a threat to the occurrence of fraud.

Maybe someone said it's easy to say as it does not happen to you, but if it did, only then you will know how it feels.

The writer believes that it is not wrong if everyone has doubts about the identity of the caller and is always in a state of sanity when receiving a phone call.

In addition, each individual needs to play a role in advising each other and raising awareness about this scammer's fraud, especially to family and friends.

There may be those who believe that one should not be cautious because it will cause 'everything to go wrong'.

That is true, but in the context of today's world which is exposed to various frauds, that trait is a saviour.

Imagine, if the money we have saved for years suddenly disappears overnight, what else can be done to get it back?

Of course, we can only 'pat ourselves on the forehead' because we realise that we have been tricked.

*Norawazni Yusof is a reporter for Sinar Harian Pahang.