KUALA LUMPUR: Police have exposed a fraudulent syndicate luring senior citizens with part-time online jobs as hotel booking agents, said Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf.

He said the syndicate operates via the WhatsApp application through the wanted ad ‘Job For Senior’ or ‘Job For Old Timer’ where victims must open an account on the lynxoasis.com website to complete the task.

“Interested victims will be asked to open an account on the lynxoasis.com website and complete the hotel booking task by using the victim’s money first with the guarantee that it will be returned along with a commission of six to 10 per cent depending on the task completed.

“Through the website, victims will be able to see their commission increase, but when they want to withdraw money, the syndicate will levy additional fees resulting in greater losses to the victims,“ he said adding that 21 police reports of such fraud cases have been received involving losses of RM752,100.

In a separate case, Ramli said police busted an investment fraud syndicate targeting Sabah’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) by arresting 18 individuals in separate raids in several states on May 4-5.

He said 12 men and six women, all local citizens aged between 30 and 71, were arrested in operations carried out in Sabah, Perak and Selangor.

Police said this syndicate has been operating since 2019 by offering investments related to Sabah SMEs.

“This syndicate also used the name of the Prime Minister’s Department to convince victims that the investment was legitimate and communicated through the Whatsapp application in addition to face-to-face meetings held with the victims involved.

“This syndicate offered high returns in the form of grants, including through a start-up investment of RM1,000, where investors are promised a profit of RM200,000 within three months,” he said.

Ramli said that those arrested were believed to be masterminds, moderators and owners of mule bank accounts used by the syndicate to deceive victims who had deposited money through transfers to several mule accounts belonging to companies and businesses but did not receive profits as promised.

According to Ramli, 15 reports involving a total loss of RM2.98 million related to this case had been received and that police seized 28 bank debit cards, 24 mobile phones, two laptops, a tablet while 15 bank accounts totalling RM69,796.90 were frozen under Section 50(1) of the AMLATFPUAA 2001, in addition to the seizure of a RM75,000 worth Toyota Hilux vehicle under Section 45 (2) AMLATFPUAA 2001 and another freeze order of 38 bank accounts (RM108,131.93) under Section 44(1) AMLATFPUAA 2001.

“All the arrested individuals will be remanded until Wednesday. Investigations are being carried out under Section 420 (for cheating) of the Penal Code,” he said.