Police recently found that scam syndicates have been using government agency online portals to obtain personal information about their victims to improve their scams
According to Bernama, Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob said among those e-government service providers are the Road Transport Department (JPJ), Election Commission (SPR), and MyEG online portals.
In a press conference on Wednesday, 30 December, Zainuddin said syndicates have also been using the dark web to illegally obtain in-depth information about their targets.
Zainuddin said the police recently busted such a syndicate that has been around since 2018
He announced that the Bukit Aman CCID arrested 22 individuals comprising of 19 men and three women aged between 20 and 46 years in a house raid in Perak on Tuesday, 29 December.
They confiscated various items including two cars, three laptops, 47 mobile phones, 12 passports, and 37 different sets of scripts used to fool victims.
"The syndicate representative will often masquerade as a customer service officer of Telekom Malaysia or a police officer," he revealed.
Investigations found that the syndicate members were trained in Cambodia and worked in Laos before the COVID-19 outbreak made them return to Malaysia earlier this year
The CCID director said each member received a commission of between RM3,000 and RM4,000 a month, and in the past two months alone, the syndicate managed to scam RM360,000 out of victims all over Malaysia from their fraud call centre.
All the suspects are currently remanded for four days to assist in investigations under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating, and action is also being taken on them according to the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) 1959.
The CCID director, however, did not reveal the extent of the JPJ, SPR, and MyEG data breach of private information
Zainuddin explained he could not reveal details as the matter is still under purview of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
Instead, he cautioned that a total of 2,226 cases of call frauds were recorded nationwide this year, involving losses exceeding RM172 million.
He advised the public to be vigilant when making transactions online and to regularly use the CCID website to check if a bank account or a phone number have been previously involved in fraud before making a transfer.
MACC recently investigated five telco companies for their alleged involvement in a large-scale scam syndicate for the past 10 years: