Five local telco companies are currently under investigation for alleged involvement in a short message service (SMS) scam syndicate
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) revealed to Harian Metro that over the past 10 years, employees under these telco companies have been reportedly working closely with over 100 content providers in a large-scale scam.
It is believed that the telco staff were bribed millions of ringgit by content providers in exchange for the personal information of registered prepaid users.
After obtaining people's information, the companies will then send out spam text messages that will charge users between 50 sen and RM5 without their knowledge or permission
An unnamed source from MACC told the Malay daily, "There are hidden charges with each message sent. Up to RM5 prepaid credit will be deducted for each ring tone, wallpaper, and interactive game sent to their customer. There are also situations where the customer is charged without receiving any content."
"If you take into account the total loss of prepaid users in the country following these illegal activities detected, MACC estimates that the profit earned by telcos and content providers would reach up to RM100 million," they added.
MACC has remanded several people suspected to be involved in the syndicate
According to Malaysian Wireless, two telecommunication employees and a chief technology officer (CTO) were arrested on Wednesday, 11 November, at the MACC headquarters when they were called in to have their statement recorded in regard to the case.
Meanwhile, The Star reported that on Tuesday, 10 November, MACC also remanded three company directors on suspicion of giving bribes worth millions of ringgit as part of the scam syndicate. Two of the directors are said to hold the title of 'Datuk'.