THE fight against scammers never ends, and only gets harder as technology advances. For those in the Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID), working on these crimes is challenging, especially when it comes to building prosecutable cases against syndicates.

Finding a link between criminal and victim takes time and technical know-how. And with the Covid-19 pandemic leading to countless lost jobs, many victims are falling for the allure of quick, easy money.

Speaking to Sunday Star exclusively after the recently launched commercial crimes prevention campaign, CCID deputy director (Investigations) Deputy Comm Datuk Sasikala Devi Subramaniam explains the difficulties in bringing down scammers and how greed and desperation have led to empty wallets and misery among victims.

Greed + Fear = Profits

The pandemic has been a very profitable time for scammers.

According to the CCID, cybercrimes involving online purchases have more than doubled since 2018, with 6,985 cases recorded between Jan 1 and Sept 15 of this year. For the whole of 2020 the department recorded 5,847 cases. Scam investments cases also saw a jump from 2020: Last year, 1,672 cases were recorded compared with 2,224 cases between Jan 1 and Sept 15 this year.

DCP Sasikala notes that the pandemic brought very real financial fears and that scammers have capitalised on that.

“The packages can be so attractive,…

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