MCA’s Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong has warned Malaysians to not fall victim to syndicates promising paying “telemarketing” and customer services jobs in Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand.
According to a report by Bernama, there are more than 50 Malaysians are being held captive by online scam syndicates in the said countries to date.
Michael said he had received calls from some of the victims over the past 2 months asking to be rescued from captivity.
He explains that these syndicates will lure victims through their personal contacts or social media advertisements, and offered job as telemarketers with salaries of US$3,000 (RM12,655) to US$4,000 per month.
Upon arrival, they will confine these victims in buildings and force their victims to make calls, sometimes as long as 15 hours a day, to scam people from their respective countries.
Some of the victims are also physically abused, with some as young as 17 years old, including girls.
“If you’re a Malaysian, you will be given a laptop to cheat Malaysians and if you fail to scam anyone, you will be beaten up,” he was quoted saying by The Star.
In the meantime, Michael said they are working together with the embassies and Royal Malaysia Police to rescue those victims, but at the same time, he also appeals to young people to be more careful and not be easily cheated and blinded by the high salary that the syndicates offer.
During the press conference, Michael also made video calls to two men who claimed that they were being held against their will by a syndicate in Cambodia.
One of the men revealed that there were 13 Malaysians including 5 women, aged between 17 and 36, in the same area as him who were forced to work as “scam operators”.
“We were told to scam our customers, and if we could not do that, we would be confined in a room without food for two or three days,” he said.
Another victim claimed that he was with a different group of about 50 Malaysians including a woman, also in Cambodia. He said they were taken to Cambodia by flight or through illegal land routes.
“We work more than 15 hours (daily) to cheat customers around the world. We must follow instructions or we will never know our fate,” the victim said.