KUCHING: The Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) has set up a special committee to boost public awareness as part of their efforts to tackle the Macau Scam menace.
MCPF senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the Cyber Crime Committee was being headed by Professor Dr Mohamad Fauzan of International Islamic University and its members include those who had knowledge and skills in information and communication technology.
“Each day, we see reports on Malaysians becoming victims of the Macau scam, including government officials and housewives.
“Students and highly-educated people are also not spared, though most of their victims are pensioners,” he said in a statement here today.
Lee said MCPF was concerned about the Macau scam syndicates’ ability to evolve and use not only the latest tactics but also devices to make their scams more convincing.
“I myself lodged a police report when my name was used by a syndicate to raise money from the top official of an organisation that I’m the chairman.
“The syndicate had contacted the victim by using a fake email that looked like mine,” he said.
Lee said he was informed that some of the syndicates had professional trainers, or coaches, who kept improving the illegal organisations’ tactics to ensure that it would be very difficult to detect or uncover their scams.
“This proves how professional they are as they are always a few steps ahead of the enforcement agencies,” he said.
Lee said the Cyber Crime Committee would get the information and seek cooperation from the police as well as other agencies, including Cybersecurity Malaysia, to find ways to address the problem more effectively.
He said the committee would plan various programmes and activities to raise awareness on the Macau scam and other scams that were exploiting the latest technology.
“The public must be cautious all the time and share information with family members and friends when contacted by the syndicates, apart from lodging police reports,” he said.
Based on statistics released by the police Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID), there were 4,500 scam cases using telephone calls and short message services (SMS) leading to losses totalling RM113.11 million in 2017.
Bukit Aman CCID director Datuk Seri Mohd Zakaria Ahmad said, since 2015, the department had recorded about RM2 billion in losses suffered by the victims of commercial crimes, including Macau scams and non-existent loan packages or investment schemes.
“As for the six months of this year, the department has received 5,069 reports on cyber crimes involving RM250 million lost to the scammers,” he said, adding that 1,973 individuals were arrested for involvement in cyber scams within the same period this year.