SUNGAI PETANI, April 12 — Commercial crime has been steadily rising for the past three years even as the nationwide crime index recorded a drop of 36 per cent.
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director, Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob said the total commercial criminal cases rose since 2018, from 24,262 to 26,465 cases (2019) and finally to 27,323 cases in 2020.
“This is because commercial crimes do not involve face-to-face interaction. For instance scams and loan fraud can be conducted through phone calls or online… the caller may be in Kuala Lumpur (for example) and makes a call to Johor Bahru to scam a victim there,” he said at a media conference after officiating the Kuala Muda district police headquarters here today.
According to him, in 2018, 13,645 arrests and 7,927 charges were made involving commercial crime in the country.
“The total increased to 13,835 arrests and 9,875 charges in 2019, and 15,440 arrests and 10,097 charges in 2020, while from January March this year, 4,196 arrests and 2,372 charges have been made,” he added.
Zainuddin said the number of commercial crimes involving scammers was reported to have risen from 13,568 cases in 2018 to 14,425 cases (2019) and to 17,553 cases in 2020.
“The scammer case category includes e-commerce, non-existent investment loans, compromised business emails, ‘bomoh’ scams, Toto scams, SMS scams, credit card fraud, lucky draws and impersonations.
“The three ‘hot’ states that recorded the highest number of cases are Selangor, Johor and Kuala Lumpur while scammer cases throughout the country from January to March this year stands at 5,078 cases,” he added.
He also advised the public to be cautious and aware of the various scam tactics including using religious background to gain sympathy.
“Don’t take risks to invest if you are unsure of the investment, and be careful with scams using Islamic associations or religious institutions to collect donations.
“Check before making money transfers, we have received information about cases like that but are still in the midst of gathering evidence,” he said.