According to the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), 5,725 reported cases of phone scams—commonly referred to as Macau scams—amounted to losses of around RM254 million in 2019. This figure grew to about RM287 million, with 6,003 cases reported during 2020 alone. And for 2021, there have been reported losses of around RM38 million for 1,392 cases up to the 24th of March 2021.
PDRM says that the ease-of-use of VoIP applications allow for perpetrators to remain anonymous when contacting potential victims, while warning that there are a number of tactics that you should look out for:
- Falsely claiming to be a representative of the authorities (Police, SPRM, Customs, Immigration, LHDN, etc.)
- Falsely claiming to be a representative of banking institutions or services such as telecommunications companies or POS Malaysia.
- Falsely claiming to be a family member, friend, or VVIP.
The CCID Scam Response Centre
As such, PDRM has now issued a statement confirming that a new “one stop centre” has been been set up under the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) to combat the rise of phone-based fraud. The CCID Scam Response Centre has been in operation since the 15th of February 2021, and will be contactable between 8am–8pm everyday at 03-26101559 and 03-26101599.
The public will be able to contact the centre for information on phone fraud/Macau scams, while you can also make reports on suspected phone fraudsters. Additionally, the centre will also act as a verification method for those of you who receive suspicious calls from parties impersonating the authorities.
In any case, you should always be careful when disclosing confidential information, particularly over the phone or internet-based communication methods (WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.). Always be sure to verify the information being presented to you by potential fraudsters, including the identity of the caller. If you’ve been a victim of similar scams, you’re also encouraged to provide relevant information to the CCID Scam Response Centre to help protect other potential victims.
To read PDRM’s full statement, click here.