The police have recently busted a Johor-based scam syndicate that had been actively developing applications to get important details from victims including their bank account details, passwords and even tag numbers.
The syndicate comprises a team of 6 people and all of them have degrees in IT and software development.
According to Johor Police chief Datuk Comm Kamarul Zaman Mamat, the syndicate have made over RM3 million by selling their websites to about 100 possible scammers.
“The suspects were later identified as the syndicate’s senior leader, who is also a company owner, three software developers and two multimedia designers, aged between 21 and 39. The suspects were arrested in the joint operation dubbed Ops Merpati within the Taman Bukit Indah residential area near Johor Baru at 3.30 pm on Wednesday (28 September).”
“The arrests were also recorded as the first case of its kind in Johor and the second in Malaysia,” he said.
Kamarul Zaman explained that the syndicate’s modus operandi involved advertising the sale of goods at low prices on social media to attract their victims. Potential victims who contacted the syndicate’s members would then be given a link for payment.
“Once the victims started to initiate payment through the given link, they would be misled by the application developed by the syndicate.”
“The application would then open a pathway that allowed the syndicate’s members to start hacking the victim’s data and later access their bank accounts to transfer cash without the victim’s knowledge,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said the police have seized mobile phones, computers, WiFi routers, hard drives, residential access cards and house keys during the raid.
“Investigations of the case are still ongoing and police will continue to track down other syndicate members that use the same tactics.”
“We believe that more than 100 of the scam applications have been sold by this syndicate,” he said.
Meanwhile, the case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating and Section 120 of the same Code for criminal conspiracy.