GEORGE TOWN - Penang police believe they have busted a "spoofing" syndicate which is suspected to have duped a large number of Malaysians out of millions of ringgit over the past six months.
Penang Commercial Crime Department chief Asst Comm Roslee Chik said four people, including a woman, were nabbed in Johor after they swindled a sundry shop operator in Permatang Pauh.
He said the syndicate members had tricked the victim, 65, into parting with RM70,000 (S$28,500) by impersonating personnel from the Home Ministry, Bukit Aman and Bank Negara.
He said the victim deposited the money into two bank accounts in November last year before realising something was amiss the next day. He then lodged a police report.
It took several months of intelligence gathering and monitoring before police managed to nab the suspects, aged between 25 and 52, on Wednesday.
ACP Roslee said the suspects had used the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, to replicate phone numbers of the police, Bank Negara and other government agencies.
"The victim said the caller had told him that he was implicated in money-laundering activities by two suspects nabbed in Hong Kong.
"He was then told to deposit RM70,000 into two accounts to avoid having his assets and bank accounts frozen by the authorities," ACP Roslee said yesterday.