IPOH: A non-governmental organisation public service officer from Taiping lost about RM177,700 to a phone scam.

Perak police chief Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Yusri Hassan Basri said the victim, 72, had received a call from an unknown individual who claimed to be from the Digital and Communications Ministry and alleged that the former’s bank account was involved in money laundering activities on June 12 at about 2.30pm.

“The victim was told to go to the Ipoh district police station but denied being involved in any illegal activities.

“The call was then connected to a second individual, who claimed to be from the police and informed the victim that they could help resolve the case,” he said in a statement on Friday (June 28).

“The victim was told to give the individual his automated teller machine card and pin numbers.

“In a state of anxiety and fear, the victim also gave his ‘one-time password’ (OTP) and was informed that the money from his bank account would be moved to another account for investigations.

“The victim was also assured that the money would be returned to him after investigations have been completed,” he added.

Comm Mohd Yusri said the victim had on Thursday (June 27) went to the bank in Taiping to check his account and found that a large sum of money had been transacted.

“There were five suspicious transactions made involving a total of about RM177,700, which was transferred to five different bank accounts.

“The victim tried but failed to contact the second suspect before lodging a report,” he said, adding that the matter is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

Comm Mohd Yusri said the people are advised not to easily trust calls from unknown numbers.

“Do not panic when receiving a call from individuals who claim to be from any enforcement agencies.

“Just do not entertain and end these calls,” he said, adding that enforcement agencies will not connect calls to a different agency at the same time.

“Any governmental matters will be conducted physically and not online.

“Should there be any doubts, check with the respective agencies and not the numbers given by the unknown individuals,” he said.

“Do not ever give any bank account numbers or personal banking details to any unknown individuals and call the 997 National Scam Response Centre to verify first before transferring money to a third party account,” he added.