SIBU (June 15): A 73-year-old retired schoolteacher here has lost RM207,000 after falling victim to a phone scam.
Sarawak police commissioner Datuk Mohd Azman Ahmad Sapri said the victim received a phone call from someone claiming to be ‘Lee Wai Ming’ from the Ministry of Health in Putrajaya on April 17, 2023.
“The man told the victim that the victim was involved in spreading inaccurate information regarding Covid-19,” Mohd Azman said in a statement.
The victim was then connected to ‘policemen’ from Sabah who identified themselves as ‘Inspector Khoo’, ‘Inspector Leong’, and ‘Sergeant Wong’.
During the conversation, the victim was also told that he was involved in money laundering.
The ‘police’ then instructed the victim to open a new bank account and transfer his money into the new account for investigation.
The victim was told that the money would have to go through an auditing process and would be returned to him once completed.
The victim was also told to report himself daily to ‘Inspector Leong’ via WhatsApp.
On April 18, 2023, at about 10am, the victim opened a new bank account and used ‘Inspector Leong’s’ telephone number to register online.
The victim then made two transactions amounting to RM207,000 to the new account.
The victim only realised he had been scammed when he contacted the bank and was told someone had made several transfers amounting to RM207,000 from his account to an unknown account.
This led the victim to lodge a police report.
Mohd Azman urged members of the public not to entertain phone calls from unknown persons and to inform their family members or friends should they receive such calls.
“Check with the police station, bank, or related agencies for confirmation. All members of the public are also advised not to give any banking information to unknown people and never register the phone number that is not yours,” he said.
Mohd Azman also advised the public not to panic, feel anxious, or fearful about any allegations made against them if they have not committed any crime.
Members of the public can contact the National Scam Response Centre (NSRC) on 997 if they have fallen victim to cyber scams (phone scams, love scams, e-commerce scams, non-existence loans, and similar cases) or have made transactions to suspicious bank accounts or e-wallets.
They can also download the Whoscall application to help decide whether or not to answer incoming phone calls.
The Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) is cooperating with Whoscall’s developer to enable the application to flag phone numbers listed in CCID’s database as scammers.
Alternatively, contact the CCID Infoline on 013-2111222 (WhatsApp or SMS) for advice or to provide information regarding online crime cases.
The public can also check suspicious phone numbers and bank accounts through the check scammers CCID application or via http://semakmule.rmp.gov.my before engaging in any financial transaction.
Look for @jsjkpdrm or @cybercrimealertrmp on Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok for the latest information on scams.