Friday, June 1, 2007

Beware of the court con


KUALA LUMPUR: Beware of a voice message from the “Malaysian High Court”. The message claiming you have not attended a court case is merely a scam to get your personal and bank details.

In all cases reported, the recipients of the message denied they had any pending court case or were being sought by the police.

The caller, purportedly from the “Malaysian High Court” would call a prospective victim, telling the person that he or she had missed a court hearing.

The caller would then instruct the recipient to dial “9”. Doing so would put them in touch with an operator who would then insist that the victim gives his or her name as well as identity card number, supposedly for purposes of verification.

The operator then tells the victim that he or she either had a case to attend or had missed a hearing.

According to a recent victim, the operator gave an assurance that she would fax all details to an officer at Bukit Aman, who would get back to the victim within three or four minutes.

“True enough, in less than two minutes a man called and asked me a lot of questions.

“He claimed that a criminal had used my identity card and opened an account at some banks and asked whether I had accounts in these banks, too,” said the victim.

“When I told him I did, the officer said he would help me with the case if I told him how much I have in that account.”

The victim refused, asking instead to meet the caller first. The caller then gave his victim a phone number, purportedly of a contact at Bukit Aman.

According to police, some victims were so convinced by the “officer” that they gave their account number and the bank balance as instructed. When they called the “officer” back at the given number, the call would either reach a police station or a private home.

So far, the police have received more than 100 reports of the scam in the Klang Valley.

The swindle first surfaced in Penang last month, prompting the police there to advise the public not to entertain such calls and check instead with the police to determine if they indeed had court hearings to attend.

It is learned that the scam had also spread to Johor and other states.

“I advise the public not to entertain such calls,” said City commercial crime chief Asst Comm Mohd Aris Ramli.

“They should contact the police immediately if they receive such calls or are approached by anyone with such modus operandi.”

The Star


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