REPORTS of people being scammed online is getting more regular these days. Many of the victims are not poor people, judging from the amount of money involved. They are not illiterate or ignorant either. Many are teachers, pensioners, government servants and working adults.
News about these scams are featured regularly in the media. Do they watch news on TV or read the papers at all?
So far, the modus operandi of the scammers is more or less the same. The victim receives a phone call and is told that he is being investigated or about to be charged in court for certain criminal activities and that his bank accounts would be frozen soon by the authorities. He is then advised by the caller to transfer his money to another account for safekeeping.
Yes, anyone would be caught off guard when we get a call like this, but we would smell a rat immediately if we had read or seen reports about these scams.
Personal responsibility is one thing, but have the authorities done enough to prevent this scourge? Who are these scammers? Where are they based? Are they really beyond the reach of the authorities?
And what about the banks? Shouldn’t banks take responsibility for allowing the fraudulent transactions? Surely the scammers must have bank accounts somewhere for the victims to transfer the money to. How can the scammers so easily get the cash out the money that was deceitfully deposited into their accounts? I think more vigilance is needed by all parties – banks, regulators, police and the people – to put a stop to these online scams.
T. K. CHUA
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