Sarawak cops detect over 2,000 accounts ‘rented’ to scammers

Sarawak cops detect over 2,000 accounts ‘rented’ to scammers

These mule accounts accountable for around RM40 mil lost to fraud, say police

MIRI – Sarawak police have found 2,354 bank accounts “rented” out by their owners to scammers for cheating the public. State police chief Datuk Mohd Azman Ahmad Sapri today said these “mule accounts” were discovered during investigations into online scams in the first six months of this year.

Forty-four account holders have so far been arrested.

“These 2,354 mule accounts identified from January until the end of June are accountable for around RM40 million of money scammed from the public. “The 44 arrested have been charged in court,” he said at a press conference in Kuching today.

In exchange for allowing scammers to use their bank accounts, the owners were offered between RM50 to RM1,000. The accounts are used to receive money from victims as they look legitimate.

“These scammers can withdraw or transfer huge sums of money they had cheated from the victims within 30 minutes,” Azman said. Scam victims tend to be elderly, retirees, and pensioners, or young and first-time workers, fresh graduates, as well as housewives and the unemployed.

The modus operandi is usually to offer bogus online jobs or part-time jobs, or purchase promotions and investment schemes that offer lucrative returns. Another method used is to pose as bogus enforcement officers and use scare tactics or intimidation into getting victims to part with their money.

Azman reminded the public not to entertain calls from unknown people, or click on unverified social media links. Neither should they divulge details of their bank accounts, credit cards, or personal identification to others, he said.

– The Vibes, July 12, 2023

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