JOHOR BARU: The Commercial Crimes Investigation Department has recorded 71,833 cases with losses amounting to more than RM5.2bil, says Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.

The Inspector-General of Police said the cases were from 2020 until May this year with 48,850 or 68% of them involving online scams.

“RM5.2bil is a huge figure. That is why we need to continue engaging with the public and sharing the latest modus operandi or tactics used by these scammers so that they will not fall prey.

“Only by equipping people with knowledge on scam activities can we protect them from harm,” he said, adding that targeted victims included the elderly and pensioners from both the government and private sector.

Speaking to reporters after the opening ceremony of the PDRM Anti-Scam Campaign 2022 yesterday, Acryl Sani said police would also conduct joint research with universities to get information on the level of public awareness on scam activities.

“Some of the cases include love scams with 1,580 cases in 2020, a slight drop of 1,460 cases last year, and 361 cases up to May (this year).

“As for Macau scams, we recorded 2,254 cases in 2020, 1,586 cases last year and 1,612 cases up to May this year,” he said, adding that love scams involved scammers tricking victims into falling in love with them while Macau scams involved scammers impersonating the authorities.

Acryl Sani also said that there was an increase in ecommerce scams where victims were cheated over online advertisements for products.

“We recorded 5,851 cases in 2020, 9,569 cases last year and 3,833 cases up to May this year,” he said, adding that there were three types of scam syndicates in the country.

The first type is those operating in the country but run by foreigners.

The second involves those operated by locals that utilise tactics by foreigners and the third is linked to scam call centres.

Acryl Sani said these call centres usually targeted victims outside the country.

“One of the issues faced by the police in eradicating these activities is the lack of cooperation from scam victims themselves.

“There are three main concerns – they are ashamed of telling their family members or reporting the cases, the amount of losses is not worth the hassle, and not being able to get back the money lost to the scammers,” he added.

Acryl Sani said the focus of the police had also shifted towards handling these cases as traditional crimes such as snatch theft had evolved into online theft.