Rabu, 05 Januari 2022

How To Report Online Scammer Or Fraud To The Police In Indonesia

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By:
Mahmud Kusuma, S.H., M.H.
(Certified Attorneys at Law)

Previously, the Hukumindo.com platform has talk about "I Have a Contract Whose Goods Have Not Been Delivered, How Do I Sue Under Indonesian Law?", read also "How to Open a Police Report in Indonesia?", "What's The Difference Between Police Report and Public Complaint?". And on this precious occasion we will talk about 'How To Report Online Scammer Or Fraud To The Police In Indonesia'.

As the number of netizens and cell phone owners continues to rise, online fraud and other kinds of cyber-crimes are becoming more common. The increasing number of social media networks and the emergence of online forums, chat and email groups may lead to cyber-crimes that trigger huge money losses.[1] Have you been a victim of an internet, business, or other Indonesia scams-Bali scams? Scammers and fraudsters are widespread in Indonesia such as in Bali, Greater Jakarta, Batam and Dumai.

Types of Indonesia Scams and Fraud

Scammers take advantage of people looking for romantic partners, often via dating websites, apps or social media by pretending to be prospective companions. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details. Dating and romance scams often take place through online dating websites, but scammers may also use social media or email to make contact. These scams are also known as ‘catfishing’.[2]

Scammers typically create fake online profiles designed to  lure you in. They may use a fictional name, or falsely take on the identities of real, trusted people such as government personnel, aid workers or professionals working abroad. Dating and romance scammers will express strong emotions for you in a relatively short period of time, and will suggest you move the relationship away from the website to a more private channel, such as phone, email or instant messaging. They often claim to be from a western country, but travelling or working overseas.[3]

Nigerian scams, African scams, online dating scams, infidelity, business, consumer, and marriage fraud remain at very high levels in Indonesia. Especially in Jakarta, Bali and Batam. The most common types of fraud are:[4]
  • Identity fraud;
  • Online dating scams;
  • Advance fee fraud;
  • Visa fee fraud;
  • Visa fraud;
  • Dating fraud;
  • Marriage-bride scams;
  • Online retail fraud;
  • Plus many more!

Prevention Is The Best Solution

So if you’re looking to buy an Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display and a powerful Haswell processor, don’t be lured by cheap prices on public marketplace sites such as kaskus.co.id and olx.co.id (formerly tokobagus.com). It makes little sense for a $1,500 laptop from 2014 to be offered for Rp.5.55 million ($427), even when it is listed as second-hand.[5]

You should buy only from online vendors with positive, established feedback, although beware of overly positive testimonials. Be on the lookout for erroneous product descriptions. Avoid vendors who ignore requests for new photos of the product. If a vendor refuses to meet in a safe public location to show you the advertised product—and instead insists on a bank transfer rather than a direct cash payment—it’s probably not worth pursuing the purchase.[6]

Yet online forums are full of tales of woe from people who transferred money for ‘bargain’ products, only for them to never arrive. Some victims say it is not worth reporting their loss because they would have to pay police for any investigation leading to a refund.[7]

If you are the victim of such fraud, the first thing to do is phone the vendor. If they refuse to take your calls, then send formal text messages, explaining you will report them to the police and to their bank if they fail to refund your money within 24 hours. You can also report them to the site on which they advertised, which will likely result only in their account being deactivated.[8]

In addition, dear readers, I have often received e-mails from netizens abroad regarding things such as: "Sir, I bought plants through an online application, after I paid for it, but the goods were not delivered; or Sir, I bought a reptile from Indonesia, after I paid, the goods were not sent; or Sir i am Mr. X from India, I bought a medical device from a city in Indonesia, after I paid for the item it was never delivered". The value of the loss is not that big, which is between 10 million Rupiah to 30 million Rupiah (1 US $ equal to 14.000,- Rupiah). I can tell you, it is very possible that you are one of the victims of online scams. When you intend to hire a lawyer in Indonesia to report the matter to the Police, the value of the loss is not comparable to the lawyer fee that you have to bear. You have to find another solution regarding this matter, as I suggested earlier, that "prevention is the best solution". The criminal reporting process in Indonesia takes time and needs a lot of energy. I hope all of you understand this situation.

Reporting Online Scammer Or Fraud To The Police 

The Hukumindo.com platform has previously discussed how to report criminal incidents in Indonesia as stated in the article entitled: "How to Open a Police Report in Indonesia?". Basically, all criminal acts that occur in Indonesia are reported in the same way to the Police. So now, how to open a Police Report ("LP") in Indonesia? As a guide, here's how to open a criminal report according to the author's practical experience:[9]
  • Come to the relevant Police Station;
  • Come to the Integrated Police Service Center (SPKT);
  • Tell the chronology of the crime that you experienced to the Police officers;
  • If the incident you experience is a criminal act, the Police officer will give you a report sign, if it is not a criminal act, the Police officer will not give you a report sign.
Complete your report with your self identity, witnesses and supporting evidence related to the crime you experienced.

Is Lawyer Needed To Reporting a Crime In Indonesia?

So why does you need a lawyer to report a crime in Indonesia, more specific such as online scammer or fraud? Fraud reports get complicated so the Police may be reluctant to talk to you unless you have a lawyer. Without clear physical evidence, fraud reports depend on probably complex tales of events and documents which are difficult to explain in broken English. Few Police speak English, so how are you going to make a report unless you have an interpreter?[10]

Further, Indonesian criminal law is very specific because the underlying law code or KUHP is brief but vague, and reports often quickly turn to discussions over which section of the KUHP might apply to the reported crime. Victims tend to feel violated and outraged over the crime, but under law only certain aspects of a series of events may be criminal. If both parties have engaged in confrontations, there may be potential crimes committed by both parties.[11]

But a bigger problem with fraud is that usually money is involved, maybe a lot of it, and it becomes difficult to know whose side anyone is on. Police may expect money to change hands, and for that they need to talk to your lawyer, not to you. In theory you doesn’t really need a lawyer to report a crime to the Police. In practice, you probably does. A lawyer knows the law and knows the Police, and of course a lawyer speaks Indonesian.[12] And if you have any issue with this topic, contact us, feel free in 24 hours, we will be glad to help you.


*) For further information please contact:
Mahmud Kusuma Advocate
Law Office
Tokopedia Care Tower, 17th Floor, Unit 2&5,
Outer West Ring Road, 101, Rawa Buaya,
Cengkareng Subdistrict, West Jakarta,
Jakarta - Indonesia.
E-mail: mahmudkusuma6@gmail.com
_________________

References:

1. "Online Fraud Should Be Reported Quickly: Police", www.thejakartapost.com, Diakses pada tanggal 05 Januari 2022, https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/08/22/online-fraud-should-be-reported-quickly-police.html
2. "Indonesia Scam-Fraud Investigations", www.indonesia-pi.com., Diakses pada tanggal 05 Januari 2022, https://www.indonesia-pi.com/indonesia-scams-bali-scams/
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. "Online Hazards", indonesiaexpat.id., by: Kenneth Yeung, April 6, 2015, Diakses pada tanggal 05 Januari 2022, https://indonesiaexpat.id/outreach/scams-in-the-city/online-hazards/
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid.
9. "How to Open a Police Report in Indonesia?", www.hukumindo.com., Kamis, 07 Oktober 2021, Diakses pada tanggal 05 Januari 2022, https://www.hukumindo.com/2021/10/how-to-open-police-report-in-indonesia.html
10. "Reporting a crime to the police", indonesianlawadvisory.com., Diakses pada tanggal 05 Januari 2022, http://indonesianlawadvisory.com/Police%20Reporting.aspx
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid.

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