KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — The police have detected a new criminal tactic by a fraud syndicate that manipulates the utility bill payment system to deceive victims.
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Mohd Kamarudin Md Din said they received a report on the case this month involving a loss of RM8,500.
“The syndicate will contact victims who have utility bill arrears and offer a discount if the victim allows them to settle the arrears.
“The syndicate would advance their money and claim that the payment receipt will be used by them to obtain tax exemption,” he said in a statement today.
He said after obtaining the victim’s consent, the syndicate would use bounced cheques to make payments through deposit machines belonging to utility service providers.
He said once the payment was made, the service provider’s system would display a record that the bill payment had been made and the victim was asked to transfer money to them through a bank account belonging to a third party.
“The victims will only be aware of being cheated when the service provider informs them that they have failed to cash the cheques,” he said.
Mohd Kamarudin said the case was still under investigation under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.
He also urged those who may have been victims of the syndicate’s scam to come forward to lodge a police report at the nearest police station.
The public are also reminded to pay their utility bills directly to legitimate service providers and not to answer calls from unknown numbers.
To check the validity of suspicious telephone numbers and bank account numbers, use the semakmule portal https://semakmule.rmp.gov.my or contact the CCID Scam Response Centre at 03-26101559/1599. — Bernama