GEORGE TOWN, Jun 9 – A total of 520 cheating cases committed through fake phone calls, or ‘Macau Scam’, involving losses of RM27 million have been reported in Penang since 2016, said State police chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan. He said many people of various backgrounds, including professionals, still fell victim to such a scam despite many reminders issued by the police.
“Based on investigations, the syndicates have used various modus operandi to deceive the victims into surrendering their money. They would contact the victims and posed as bank officers, police or court officers and debt collection company representatives.
“The phone numbers that appeared on the victims’ mobile phone screen are usually the same numbers owned by the relevant organisations. The syndicate members would make the calls via the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), ” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Meanwhile, Thaiveegan said initial investigation into a Taiwanese-led ‘Macau Scam’ syndicate which was crippled during a raid on a hillside bungalow in the Bukit Jambul area last Tuesday, revealed that they had been operating there over the past three months.
“The syndicate has been operating in Malaysia by moving from one state to another to avoid being detected by the authorities. Their modus operandi was to deceive Thai nationals into transferring their money to certain accounts after claiming the victims to have debts or criminal record,” he said.
Thaiveegan said two suspected Taiwanese masterminds and eight Thais, comprising five men and five women, who aged from their 30s to 50s, had been remanded for 14 days to facilitate investigations. — Bernama