KUALA LUMPUR: Police have reminded the public not to be duped into phone scams or “Macau scams” carried out by syndicates.
This follows the growing number of cases of people fooled by fake calls from financial institutions or the police.
Federal police corporate communications chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Datuk Asmawati Ahmad said this in a statement today.
Asmawati said the Macau scam syndicates originate from Taiwan and China that used international lines locally or Hong Kong.
The way the scam are carried out or its modus operandi can be divided into four categories, she said.
These were; lucky draw, ransom demand, spoofing by claiming to be the police or government agencies and spoofing by Bank Negara Malaysia or commercial banks.
“Spoofing is a technique where a caller will communicate using a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
“This allows the caller to use a random number to hoodwink the receiver,” she explained.
Asmawati said the syndicate members would pose as bank officers and call potential victims, claiming that they had failed to pay a certain amount of outstanding credit card payments.
“Victims are then directed to call the number of a fake officer from Bank Negara Malaysia to avoid getting blacklisted or have their bank accounts.
“Victims were then duped to make transactions to a specific bank account through e-Banking or cash deposit machines (CDM).”
She said the scammers would also pose as police officers or officers from government agencies.
She said the syndicate members usually accused the victims of being involved in an illegal activities such as organised crime, Ah Long syndicates or drug trafficking.
Asmawati added that the scammers would ask the victims to transfer a sum of money before their accounts are frozen by the authorities.
“Besides that, syndicate members would also scam victims by claiming that their children or relatives were kidnapped and the victims are forced to pay ransoms to third party accounts.
“When it comes to lucky draw scams, scammers usually tell victims they have won a lucky draw worth a million dollars from Hong Kong or Macau businesses.
“When the victims are interested in the money, they are fooled into transferring money into certain bank accounts before claiming the ‘prize’,” she said in the statement.
Asmawati said once the transactions were successful, the victims would not be able to contact the scammers and would not received the money as promised.
Asmawati outlined a five point note to people who receive such calls;
1. Be alert and cautious when receiving calls from number not known to them,
2. Not to panic and blindly follow instructions given by the caller without first calling the police or financial institutions,
3. Not to return call but instead get the official number of companies, organisations or institutions that purportedly made the contact,
4. Not to expose bank account numbers, automated teller machine card numbers or credit card details, and
5. To check on the Bank Negara Malaysia website for latest updates on financial fraud.