Bukit Aman Commercial CID director Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob has issued a warning that certain telecommunication fraud syndicates have been using MyEG, JPJ, and EC portals to harvest information—with the intention of using said info to defraud victims. Additionally, these syndicates have also used the “latest applications” to communicate with their victims, usually under the guise of being someone in an official capacity:
“The syndicate representative will often masquerade as a customer service officer of Telekom Malaysia or a police officer.”
It isn’t yet clear how these groups are obtaining the information from the aforementioned portals, although Datuk Zainuddin said that the Dark Web has also been used by the attackers. It’s worth noting that there is an ongoing investigation into a fraudulent SMS scam that has seen several fomer telco officials being remanded, with five telco companies being investigated for alleged involvement.
What information was stolen?
At the moment, the Bukit Aman Commercial CID director has not confirmed the extent of the breach, as the issue falls under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). As mentioned above, Datuk Zainuddin has only revealed that “in-depth information” was obtained from the portals to use in fraudulent schemes.
Meanwhile, the Bukit Aman CCID has successfully shut down a fraud call syndicate. 22 individuals were arrested, including 19 men and three women aged from 20–46 years. The raid was conducted between 7am and 4pm based on public information, with two cars, three laptops, 47 mobile phone, 12 passports, and 37 sets of scripts confiscated.
The syndicate that was arrested had been running since April of 2018, with employees previously working in Laos returning to Malaysia in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The raid was on a call centre in Taiping, with employees picking up commissions of up to RM4,000; overall losses caused amounted to RM360,000 since November 2020.
Meanwhile, a total of 2,226 cases of call fraud cases were recorded throughout Malaysia from the 1st of January till the 28th of December 2020, with nationwide losses totalling over RM172 million.