‘Macau Scam’ carried out via fake phone calls, cops warn

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 ― The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has uncovered fraud cases committed through fake telephone calls purportedly from financial institutions or the police, masterminded by syndicates from Taiwan and China, using local and international lines from Hong Kong.

PDRM head of corporate communications Datuk Asmawati Ahmad said of late, police have received many complaints from victims who were duped by false calls categorised as telecommunication fraud called the Macau Scam.

“The Macau Scam has four modi operandi ― a lucky draw, ransom demand, spoofing (claiming to be a police/government agency officer) and spoofing by claiming to be from Bank Negara Malaysia or commercial banks).

“Spoofing is a technique where the caller (syndicate member) will communicate using a “voice over internet protocol (VoIP) which allows him to use a random number to dupe the victim who sees the number on his phone screen,” she said in a media statement here today.

Asmawati said with the lucky draw, victims will get a telephone call informing him he had won millions from a Hong Kong company and he would be asked to give his telephone number to be contacted if he wanted to claim the prize.

“The victim would then be asked to transfer money to certain accounts to prevent his account from being frozen by the authorities.

“With spoofing of Bank Negara or commercial bank officers, the victim would get a telephone call from a person claiming to be a bank officer who says that he had failed to pay his credit card,” she said.

The victim would then be told to contact a person, supposedly a Bank Negara officer, to avoid getting blacklisted or his account frozen, and to transfer money to a bank account through e-banking or cash deposit machines.

Asmawati said in the case of ransom demands, the victim would get a telephone call from a person who said his child or relative had been kidnapped and he has to pay the ransom into a bank account.

“PDRM advises the public to be wary and not be duped by these tricks, or to panic, and not follow the instructions given by the caller. End the call and contact the police or financial institution immediately,” she said.

She also advised the public not to call back the number which contacted them but to get the official number of the company, organisation or institution involved for further clarification.

“Do not reveal your bank account number, ATM or credit card number to unknown persons. PDRM requests the cooperation of the people who have been duped to lodge police reports,” she said. ― Bernama

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