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Beware of cyber criminals operating in Malaysia under the SCN name

Friday, October 9, 2009

For about a year now, a group of cybercriminals have been operating out of Malaysia using a fraudulent airway bill with the Security Cargo Network name on it to supposedly confirm that some parcel has been sent to the victim and is being held up by Malaysian Customs.  The victim is then asked to send money so that the parcel can be cleared.  Please be aware that this criminal activity is in no way associated with SCN or any of its member companies in Malaysia or in the UK, where the shipment supposedly originates.

Sometimes the frauds pretend to be in love with the victim, while in other cases there is some underlying yet false business transaction being proposed.  Even Yahoo Malaysia is aware of the scam, as evidenced by their reprint of the following news item in their user newsletter.  Nevertheless, they will not deny them email service even though I have supplied them with the offending email addresses.  (Update:  Yahoo has suspended their account, but I believe they are now using gmail.)

The news article states that the criminals were caught, but others are still operating the scam, and until some authority cares to stop them for good, they will be out there and all should be aware.  Like the so-called 419 scams emanating from Nigeria, this one depends on the victim's greed or loneliness accompanied by a fair amount of gullibility.  Nevertheless, the money they take is real and the damage they do to Security Cargo Network's good name goes on.

Anyone with news about this group or any suggestions about how to stop them is invited to contact me (Dave Lucia) at dlucia@securitycargonetwork.com.

The following is reprinted from Yahoo Malaysia's newsletter:

"PARCEL TRICK" SYNDICATE CHEATS M'SIANS OF RM3.7 MLN

Bernama - Saturday, April 25
KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 (Bernama) -- At least 150 Malaysians have lost RM3.7 million over the last two years to the so-called "parcel trick" syndicate comprising 29 Africans and three local women who were arrested yesterday in Kepong, police said today.

Commercial Crime Investigation Department Deputy Director I Datuk Noryah Md Anvar said the syndicate, which operated from four units of the Metro Kepong apartments, had mainly targeted women who chatted on the Internet.

After chatting with them for months, they would convince them they wanted to get married to them and wanted to present them with a parcel of luxury items, including jewellery, handicraft, camera, laptop and American dollars, all supposedly valued at hundreds of thousands of ringgit, she told reporters.

"They will then contact their victims to say that the parcel had arrived from abroad but was held up at the Customs and several payments had to be settled before it could be claimed," she said.
Noryah said the unsuspecting victims would fall for the trick and, as required of them, deposit sums of cash into bank accounts of local people recruited by the syndicate.

Even after the victims had deposited the money into the accounts, the syndicate would claim that the cash was insufficient and before they knew it the victims would have parted with money to the tune of RM100,000 or more, she said.

"The victims will realise they have been cheated when there is no such parcel, and the suspects will have disappeared," she said.

Noryah said the syndicate had also advertised so-called high-paying jobs in Malaysia on Internet chat sites, such as marketing executive, telecommunications engineer and hotel manager when there were no such vacancies available.

Most of the foreigners abroad who responded to the advertisements were asked to pay RM10,000 as fees for processing, permit, visa and so on, and they would lose the money once they paid up, she said, adding that the job scam, which was started this year, had resulted in 30 reported cases of cheating so far.

She said the police detained the suspects, aged between 20 and 40 years, among them two African women, at about 3pm yesterday, and seized 21 laptops, scanners, fax machines, handphones, thumb drives and pornographic DVDs.

Nineteen of the Africans were found to have entered the country without valid entry documents, she added.