RM500 mln lost to online scams from Jan-July this year

Ayub (right) presenting the certificate of appreciation to Sub-Inspector Dararaj Saubramaniam while Zulkipli looks on.

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SIBU, Sept 12: Despite numerous awareness campaigns by the relevant authorities, the number of people falling victim to online scams continues to swell.

According to Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) senior vice chairman, Datuk Seri Ayub Yaakob from January to July this year, the amount of losses from online scam was over RM500 mlm.

“For the first seven months of this year, the victims lost more than RM500 million. If we add in the losses from previous years, it will run into billions,” he said during a visit to the Lanang police station today.

Ayub said what is worrying is that it is not only ordinary people but even professionals who fall for the various scams which include threats, loan offers, and too-good-to-be-true schemes though there have been numerous campaigns warning the public about online scams.

“Despite being aware the call is from a scammer, people still fall for it as once you are in conversation with the scammer through the phone, you will submit or succumb to them. The best is to cut off the conversation by switching off the phone,” said Ayub.

“However, there are people who out of curiosity, still entertain the scammers to hear of their “too-good-to-be-true” offer as they do not want to miss the opportunity.”

“If you receive calls purportedly either from the police, judiciary department, Home Ministry or offering loans, winning lucky numbers, please don’t accept it especially when government departments won’t call to offer any benefits,” he said.

Ayub said the foundation is thus holding more awareness campaigns this year so as to prevent more people from falling for these types of scams.

Ayub who is a former director of the Department of Crime Prevention and Community Safety of the Royal Malaysia Police, wanted the community to work closely with the police such as having regular communication with the respective police stations in the war against online scams and to prevent crime.

Sibu district police chief, ACP Zulkipli Suhaili was thankful to MCPF for nominating the Lanang station for the “Excellent Police Station’ award.

“We hope to win the award,” he said.

The Lanang police station which was set up in 2005 has 54 policemen and four public servants, he added.

The station serves a total area of 1,395 sq metres with a total population of 70,764 people comprising mostly of Chinese (37,830 people) followed by Iban (23,453), Melanau (3,174), Bidayuh (126), Indian (62), others (215) and foreigners (2,654) who are mostly involved in the plantation industry. — DayakDaily