Phone scams cost Sarawakians RM9.1 million in losses so far

Supt Mustafa Kamal Ghani Abdullah

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By: Malcolm Lau

KUCHING: The number of reported phone scams in Sarawak until 8th December 2019 had dropped to 71 cases, compare to 201 cases in 2018. A total of RM9.1 million in losses had been reported due to phone scams.

Head of Sarawak Commercial Crime Investigations Department, Supt Mustafa Kamal Ghani Abdullah revealed that 58 suspects, including two Indonesians have been arrested for involvement in these cases.

Miri had the highest number of phone scams at 40 cases, followed by Kuching (32) and Sibu (27).

Mustafa Kamal urged the public to stay resolute and not panic when they receive phone calls from the scammer.

“You can confirm the phone call is a scam the moment the suspect asks you to transfer money. The public must know that authentic authorities won’t asked the public to transfer their money,” he disclosed, adding that the real authorities also would not ask the public for personal information or request to transfer money into personal bank accounts.

“Usually these suspects will start the conversation by using voice recordings. They will later pretend to be the police, Health Department, Bank Negara or others.”

Once the scammers identified themselves as authorities, they will request the victims to talk on phone in a locked room or find a place with no one around.

“Most of us are aware of these scamming tactics but many professionals such as teachers, doctors, businessmen and others don’t really take note of this, causing them to fall victim to the scams.”

Mustafa Kamal also revealed that that if any member of the public is scared and worried about a phone call from a potential scammer, they can call the Commercial Crime Investigation Department hotline at 0132111222 or himself at 0197000577 for more advice. — DayakDaily