How I lost RM1,300 to phone scam

LETTERS: Scams continue to threaten the wellbeing of Malaysians.

We come across heartbreaking stories about people who lost their life savings to these scams.

The criminals use a variety of tactics, including impersonating government or travel agency representatives.

They take advantage of senior citizens' trust and lack of technological awareness, resulting in financial losses and long-term trauma for victims.

The concern is that these scams are becoming increasingly complex and difficult to trace.

Additionally, technology provides these criminals with new tools to carry out their activities.

A few agencies are combating scams, such as the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) and the National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) with hotline 997.

There is also an added security measure of a one-time-password (OTP). But they are not secure enough to stop scammers.

For instance, the NSRC hotline cannot be reached from 8pm to 8am. During this time, we don't know how many would have been cheated of their money.

This raises questions about the effectiveness of our strategies in combating scammers.

I was deceived by a phone scam in which the caller claimed to be an officer from Pos Laju who asked me to contact "a police officer".

The officer accused me of owning a parcel containing illegal items, such as false identification cards and drugs.

Out of fear for my safety, I transferred almost RM1,300 to a "Tuan Inspector" to avoid being detained.

Unfortunately, even with physical and online proof, the police, NSRC, CCID or the bank involved could not do anything to help.

This was a harsh lesson for me, as I failed to recognise the seriousness of these scams.

So it is safe to say that there is a need for public education on how to recognise the modus operandi and avoid scams.

At the same time, robust frameworks and enhanced cybersecurity measures are vital in tracking and prosecuting scammers.


Kuala Lumpur

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times

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