It’s a sad story when one gets scammed. It could have been life savings of 30 years gone just like that. These days, scams are becoming very elaborate as well and would usually involve more than just one person. It may be a full team and everyone plays a different role in the whole process. I hope the below would again be a reminder how scammers may work and how we could stay away from being scammed. Let’s look at Macau scam but do note that there may be nothing Macau about it.
It could be anyone including you and me. However, one vulnerable group would be senior citizens because they are perceived to be a naïve segment of the population and would be more trusting in such situations and easily intimidated. Yes, even my parents have received such calls before and one of them was about how my brother was involved in an accident. Nothing happened fortunately.
How Macau scam works?
A phone call comes in and it appears to be from trusted officials either from the court or the police department. This is usually a common way and during this call, they will provide the name, identification card and bank account numbers of the victim and says that this person is connected to drug related crimes and money laundering activities. A Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is used to hide the actual number it is calling from and the number shown is usually a trusted local number instead. If they could, the victim would be asked to transfer a sum of money so that they would not be arrested.
One more trick would be from callers disguising themselves as bank officers and allege that the victim has failed to make credit card payments. They will then provide a number for victims to contact and this call will usually be answered by an official from Bank Negara Malaysia (fake one) and this other officer will not ask the victim to transfer money to avoid being blacklisted or having their accounts frozen. By the way, if you REALLY want to call Bank Negara, please use the number published on their website yeah. This one: https://www.bnm.gov.my/contact-us
Another tactic is to trick the victims into believing that they have won a lucky draw and the victim has to pay some administration fee to get the lucky draw prizes. Another trick is to trick you about a kidnapping of your loved ones and asked you to pay a ransom. Usually, this involves making sure the person they ‘kidnapped’ is unreachable via mobile phone so that the victim may believe the threat and pay the ransom. If you do lose your phone, please disable the sim immediately yeah.
AVOID DOING THESE
The police have advised individuals not to panic or just blindly follow the instructions given by the scammers. Do not call the numbers provided by anyone. Just go online, find the right numbers and call the police or even the financial institution involved. I do think google.com algorithm is still able to show the right results for all these official institutions.
NEVER disclose any private information including bank account number, ATM card or even credit card number to any unindentified individuals. By the way, these scammers may sometimes have some of these details. Just do not provide them with more information which they do not have and looks like asking you for verification.
For even more readings:
Police asks everyone to be vigilant.
Bank Negara’s advice on what to do if you are a victim
Cyber Crime Alert Royal Malaysia Police FB page
Stay Safe, Tell more people
It’s always good to share with our loved ones, especially the seniors as they may be less knowledgeable about all these new scamming tricks. It will especially be good to always remind ourselves that if we have really committed any crime, the official channel of communication is not likely to be a call where we are asked to pay some amount of money. These days, even if we are asking to pay fines, it could be done through official APPs. It’s definitely not through a money transfer to some individual or even legitimate looking accounts. Stay safe everyone.
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