Retired civil servant lost almost 1 million in ‘Phone Scam’ impersonating police

By Balqis Jazimah Zahari

IPOH: A 74-year-old retired civil servant suffered a huge loss of RM845,450.00 after being duped by a ‘Phone Scam’.

Perak Police Chief, Datuk Seri Mohd Yusri Hassan Basri said, the police received a police report from the senior citizen in which the suspect had deceived the senior citizen by making a phone call posing as a police officer last Friday.

“The police investigation found that on May 9, while the victim was at home in Ipoh, he received a phone call from an unknown individual who introduced himself as an officer of Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN) and claimed that the victim had tax arrears for a company registered in his name in Melaka.

“Later, the victim’s phone line was connected to two ‘police officers’ (suspect) from the Melaka Contingent Police Headquarters and the victim is said to have a record of being involved in drug smuggling and money laundering cases,” he said in a statement recently.

Mohd Yusri said that in the phone conversation the third suspect, who was called ‘Dato’, had ordered the victim to follow his instructions and report the bank account information and the victim’s movements from time to time to the suspect.

“At the suspect’s direction, the victim made a cash deposit of RM845,450.00 through a cash deposit machine (CDM) in stages into 14 bank accounts in the various names of the account owners from May 10 to May 19; supposedly for review purposes.

“Furthermore, the suspect also gave the victim a period of one month to sell the house for the purpose of review and instructed not to disclose this matter to third parties.

“This matter came to light when the victim asked his friend to find an agent to sell the house, only then did the victim realise that he had already been deceived by the suspect,” he said.

He said the case was investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code.

Mohd Yusri stressed that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) has held various prevention initiatives against this type of crime, including organising prevention talks, distributing prevention information through the mass media/social media, issuing warnings through media broadcasts, establishing a special fraud crime line 997 and so on.

“However, this kind of phone scam case is still happening until now, this shows that the awareness of fraud crime prevention among the general public is still at a low level,” he said.

“In connection with that, once again the Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) Perak would like to give a serious warning to the general public to always be alert to suspicious phone calls, especially phone calls purporting to be from government agency officials.

“The public is reminded that law enforcement agencies and financial institutions will not request personal bank account information from members of the public, nor ask members of the public to do transfers or payment of money to another bank account,” he said.

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