Police: Nearly 1,300 commercial crime cases involving losses over RM37m reported in Penang this year

Mohd Rosni said the increase in number of fraud victims among Penangites is very worrying. — AFP pic
Mohd Rosni said the increase in number of fraud victims among Penangites is very worrying. — AFP pic

GEORGE TOWN, July 23 — A total of 1,238 commercial crime cases involving losses totalling RM37.303 million were recorded in Penang from January to June this year, which is an increase of 27.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Penang Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief ACP Mohd Rosni Mohd Lazim said for the first six months of last year, a total of 972 cases were recorded, however, the total loss recorded was RM60.452 million.

“The increase in the number of cases is very worrying, with 1,238 people becoming victims of fraud, comprising 643 men and 595 women,” he said in a statement today.

He said based on the department’s statistics, commercial crimes involving fraud that resulted in the highest amount of losses were love scams, Macau scams, parcel scams, investment scams, non-existent money lending and fake online purchases.

“For the same period last year, a total of 833 cases of fraud were reported. However, for this year during the same period, the number of cases increased to 1,132, and involved losses of RM32 million (out of the RM37.303 million),” he said.

Mohd Rosni said the police did not rule out the possibility of there being many more commercial crime cases, as many victims did not come forward to lodge a report.

He urged those who had been duped by such scams to lodge reports so that investigations could take place, and the suspects brought to justice.

He also advised the community to be careful and not easily fall in love or be attracted to messages from strangers, as well as avoid being deceived by sweet promises such as attractive returns on investment.

“No investment offers a lucrative return in a short period of time, and more importantly, do not be part of a syndicate by allowing your bank account to be used to receive proceeds from fraudulent activities,” he said.

He said the public was also advised to always check portals such as ‘Semakmule’ or websites such as http://biztrust.ssm.com.my before engaging in any investment or transaction, and they could also contact the JSJK hotline at 013-2111222 for more information. — Bernama