Recently, it was reported that some sort of scam has been hitting residents of the Klang Valley. This has caused a stir in the legal fratinity.
It started off with the following email.
Dear family members and friends
I am writing this e-mail to warn all of you. This is what happen to me on 18th may 2007 at 10.00am. The phone rang and i answer, a voice message stated that the call is from the Malaysian High Court mentioning that i have a case to attend at the KL High Court. Rather curious of what sort of case i have, so i press 9 to talk to the operator.
The operator speaks very ‘slow english’ if you know what i mean. She insist that i must give her my name and ic no. in order for her to check what sort of case i have. I hold on for a few seconds and she ask me if that is really my ic no. I confirmed and she also confirmed that i have a case to attend. She says that she will faxed the doucument over to Bukit Aman Police station and the officer will call me in 3 munites.
So i hung up, through enough i received the call less than 2 minutes. He announced himself as Yeoh Long Wah from Bukit Aman police station. He ask me a lot of questions and say the criminal have use my ic detail to open bank account in Maybank and Public Bank in Negeri Sembilan.
He then ask me whether i have a bank account in Maybank and Public Bank. I told him that i have a Public Bank a/c. He says that i have to answer his questions honestly so that he can help me with my case. The questions he ask like have you lost yr ic before, did you hand over yr ic to anybody for documentaion and how much money u have in yr a/c
I told him i cannot reveal the amount in my account and that i will meet him in Bukit Aman police station. He says fine and meet him before 4pm and gave me the phone no 03-77826222.
I rang my lawyer and ask for advise. She ask me to fix the appointment with the so call police on Sat or Monday since today is Friday and mosque day. I called the the no 77826222 and the police answer telling me that this is not Bukit Aman police station but police station in Old Klang Road. I told the police the problem and he told me to launch a police report in Subang Jaya police station because they have been receiving a lot of these calls from people.
I went to Public Bank to freeze all my a/c for the time being. I am sharing all these with you so that you will not go through the trauma i went through
Kam Yuen Chan
Subsequently, members of the Malaysian lawyers google group, The Rostrum reported that few of their clients were victim of this scam.
One of the members, Mr Leong Yeng Kit gave a great insight on this matter:
Several of my clients received these calls and some unfortunately divulged their personal information. Now, there are several ways these fraudsters can use your personal information, it mainly revolves around identity theft. If they only have your name and NRIC No., they can use it to apply for credit cards / credit facilities and you end up with the bill. I’ve advised another client to lodge police reports on fraudulent cards which they have not applied for, with lots of credit racked up. When we sighted the NRIC used for the registration of the card, the NRIC showed the proper name, ic no and address of the customer, but the picture of the IC was totally different. Syndicates have long used specialized machines to produce NRICs better (and faster) than our own NRD can. Smart chip? Not a problem.
Second scenario – Private Investigators in this country also have the ability to conduct “covert searches” on any person’s bank account and asset profile. They usually have sources in banks and EPF, Bank Negara, Socso, telcos etc who would only be too happy to release such information for a fee – all they need is an NRIC number. This information, coupled with the ability to create identity cards – they can virtually clear out the accounts from any person.
The types of fraud goes on and on, and I’ve seen so many that my confidence in the system is shattered.
I deal with fraud matters a lot for banking and utility institutional clients, trying to improve their internal systems to help prevent these types of fraud. Whilst I can say that throwing money at the problem in acquiring and deploying better Fraud Management Systems helps, it is really not/hardly foolproof. And any fool can actually pull off such identity theft – all you need is the will.
Hope I have been of assistance to you and your clients. Just take all necessary precautions to protect your assets and your identity. That’s the best you can do and pray it works.
Another member, Mr Chia Cheng Wee pointed out that this scam is not new. In USA, there a scam with similar modus operandi. See http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/juryduty.asp
Please inform your friends and relatives.