Beware of phone call from ‘police station’

Simon Siah

KUCHING, Jan 24: Members of the public are urged to beware as scammers now are now using the Kuching police station phone number 082-250 195 to reach out to potential victims.

Over the last two days, there has been several reports on social media and in newspapers that several members of the public have received calls from the said phone number.

The calllers claimed they are from the police station and informed the person who answered the call that the latter are either involved in an accident or their identity has been used for the purpose of money laundering. The scammers’ eventual goals is to ask the victims to change their ATM pin number or even their authorisation phone number for the purpose of swindling them of their money.

“The scammer seems to be able to spoof even the phone numbers of the police stations all over Malaysia and has used it to convince the victims to do as they are told through intimidation and using their alleged status as police,” PKR deputy youth chief Simon Siah told reporters after accompanying his colleague, who received such as call, to lodge a police report on this matter.

From their research, the said number does in fact appear in a directory on the Royal Malaysia Police website.

The scammers are also using another phone number (03-2146 0522) which is also found on the official Police website.

The scammers use a variety of aliases, such as Korporal Anuar (R176671) from IPD Simpang Tiga, Kuching, or Korporal Koo from Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah, and Sergeant Tan and Puan Narita Yaakub as the investigating officers.

“The scammers seem to be very aware of the structure and the titles of the police officers in Malaysia.”

Hence, Siah urged the police with the assistance of Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) conduct a thorough investigation of this matter and establish a stronger system to stop the spoofing of police stations and other government agencies’ phone numbers.

“If even the calls from the police station can be used as part of a scam, how then shall we have confidence in the main enforcement agency in our country which is the Police Force themselves,” he said, adding that he hoped to be briefed by MCMC and PDRM once the investigation is completed.

Siah also cautioned that several members of the opposition had their phone numbers spoofed in the last state election too, and their numbers were used to send out messages without the phone owners’ knowledge.

“It seems to be extremely easy for the scammers to obtain telephone details of individuals and to spoof them.”

He also urged MCMC and PDRM to immediately investigate how scammers are able to obtain so many phone numbers belonging to the public without the owners’ consent.

He also urged members of public to be cautious of such calls even if it is purportedly from the police station.

“It is always better to be safe than sorry by approaching the police station itself rather than speaking to the alleged police (personnel) over the phone and we hope that the police force too will take note of this and improve on their process when calling out from their official phone numbers,” he added. — DayakDaily