KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 — Financial loans that require the borrower to make an upfront payment for its release is typically a scam, the police reiterated today.
Amid the rise in personal and business loan scams nationwide from last year, Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Zakaria Ahmad said it was perplexing that even professionals would fall for such scams.
“I find it entirely unreasonable for these people to fall victim to such scams, it is as if they (victim) ignored the amount (these syndicates) asked entirely.
“As professionals, they should have been more aware,” he told a press conference at the CCID headquarters here.
According to statistics provided by the police, a total of 4,287 cases involving losses of some RM57.2 million were recorded nationwide since January until November 10 this year.
The latest figures were sharply higher than 2018’s 1,172 cases involving losses of some RM35.9 million were recorded.
He added that some victims even included bank employees, lawyers and business owners.
Throughout 2019, the police have also succeeded in dismantling 20 known syndicates involved in such scams nationwide with 174 individuals further detained.
Of the 20 syndicates involved, police have subsequently identified 779 individuals who fell victim to the syndicates.
In advising the public of the scam’s modus operandi, Mohd Zakaria explained that syndicates would usually advertise loans with very low interest through social media to entice potential victims.
He said victims would then be asked to submit their financial documents after being instructed to file an online application, all the while in communication with a fake telephone number in order for the syndicate to evade police detection.
After the borrowers have made several payments for non-existent fees, Mohd Zakaria said victims would then realise that they have been cheated when the loan is never released.
“Usually victims wound up paying more than the amount they borrowed in the first place. After finished paying these ‘fees’, they would not even get the loan,” he said.
He then urged the public not to put their trust into those who offered financial loans through the Internet and to instead engage the service of authorised moneylenders or financial institutions.
“We need the public’s cooperation together in this because there is only so much effort the police can do by itself,” he said.
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