KUANTAN: A retiree lost RM1 million to scammers in June while a goldsmith paid RM480,000 for a non-existent luxury car deal last month.
These two commercial crime cases were among the 6,338 fraud cases involving losses of RM31 million handled by Pahang police in the first seven months of this year.
Pahang police chief Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf today said the rise of online scams and cyber crimes in the state was worrying.
"In the case involving the 68-year-old pensioner, the victim was duped by scammers who impersonated a policeman, bank officer, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officer and court official.
"The suspects tricked the victim into believing he had debts and the victim ended up losing some RM1 million.
"In another case, the scammer impersonated a Singapore-based car sales agent and tricked a goldsmith into making 58 online transactions amounting to RM480,000 into 15 bank accounts. The car was only worth only RM37,000."
Ramli said scammers had a flow chart or script ready when they contacted their victims.
"They will not let victims off easily and will try to use various tactics to ensure victims remain on the line.
"The best way to deal with them is to end the call when the caller claims that you are involved in money laundering or other activities. Letting the caller speak might get you into trouble."
He said the state Commercial Crime Department, during the month-long Ops Mule Khas in July, had arrested 154 people, including 47 women.
"Those arrested acted as account mules by allowing their bank accounts to be used by scammers. Those in custody are mostly jobless, private sector employees and traders.
"Mules are promised a lot of money and they might not even realise their bank accounts have been used for scams.
"Do not allow strangers to use your bank account."
He said: "We will continue reminding people about scammers and their modus operandi.
"Apart from working with non-governmental organisations to create awareness, police will also work with banks.
"Banks will upgrade their security to prevent customers from becoming victims."