Security secretary emphasizes individual efforts in stopping scams

A mid the police’s crackdown efforts, Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak has emphasized in a blog post the importance of individual efforts in stopping scams.

The Judiciary Police (PJ) has recently disclosed that the first two months of the year saw 3.3- and 1.5-fold more phone and cyber scams year-over-year, equating to MOP17 million in losses.

Wong noted the insensitivity of some members of the public against scams “is undoubtedly” the main reason behind the high occurrence of telecom scams. He described these members of the public as “lacking a sense of alert[ness]” when using telecom services, which are inevitable in contemporary days’ socialization, education and work.

Covid-19 restrictions, meanwhile, have also obstructed interpersonal interactions and, “to a certain extend”, hindered anti-crime communications.

At the same time, he also blamed violators for manipulating topics of public interest or concern, such as Covid-19 preventive measures, subsidy applications and job recruitments, into seemingly credible scripts to increase the odds of success.

With that being said, members of the public should be clear about their responsibilities in fighting against scams, Wong emphasized. They should not have a “numb or contemptuous attitude” towards anti-fraud information, should not distance themselves from reported or cracked cases, and should exercise their efforts in helping disperse the message to people around them – with particular mention given to vulnerable groups.

At the same time, the security official pledged the police departments would continue deploying their efforts in “realistically heightening the alert and the ability to prevent scams” across society.

The police, Wong added, will continue updating and dispersing information against scams through their community networks as well as through conventional and social media. Preventive and crackdown efforts of the police, Wong added, would be constantly improved. Society will also be notified in a timely fashion of the latest criminal inclination and methodologies.

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