KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 174 Malaysians who are victims of job scams are still stranded in foreign countries, said the Malaysian police.
Police secretary Noorsiah Saaduddin said they had received 224 reports made by family members and friends of 284 scam victims.
Of the total, 110 Malaysians had been saved.
“The police will use all platforms to work together with agencies such as Aseanapol and Interpol to overcome this issue. The police are also in a special committee that is being led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” she said in a statement on Friday (Sep 30).
Madam Noorsiah advised Malaysians to be careful when accepting overseas job offers on social media and to verify the authenticity of the employers with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The police also welcome the help of the community in reporting any information on the job scam syndicates’ activities so that further action can be taken,” she said.
News about these scams started emerging in the middle of last year.
Operating out of countries like Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, the syndicates generally use social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to advertise high-paying jobs overseas.
Once the victims are lured overseas and held against their will at the scam compounds, they are then taught and forced to cheat people online.
The types of scams include crypto romance scams, fraudulent online investments and phishing attacks.
The victims’ travel documents and phones are usually seized by the syndicates. They are not allowed to leave the buildings or compounds and are forced to work for up to 15 hours a day.
Those who do not play ball with the scammers would find themselves beaten, starved and sold to other syndicates.