Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet has issued a notice to the armed forces and officials at the provincial and local levels to be wary of a phone scam in which the caller claims affiliation with the premier and solicits money in exchange for promotions or a higher rank.
“The cabinet would like to inform provincial/municipal officers and all armed forces to be wary of the above rogues,” the notice says, referring to the scammers, who tell officials they are calling from Hun Sen’s cabinet and ask for money to be sent via Wing, a popular wire transfer service.
“If they call and claim that they are the cabinet officers and ask you to send money for any job, please ask the cabinet beforehand to avoid the cheating by the rogues,” the notice, signed by chief of the cabinet Ho Sithy, says.
District and provincial governors, police and military officer have all been targets of the ruse, an official whose number was listed on the notice said yesterday, declining to be named.
“We have been trying to arrest them for days, but to no avail, because they do not have IDs when they buy SIM cards, so we cannot find their address,” he said.
According to the official, callers demand money in exchange for arranging documents. The higher the rank or promotion, the higher the price, he said.
Bids have ranged between $200 and $2,000.
Chan Soveth, senior investigator of rights group Adhoc, said he’s heard anecdotes about police officers throwing parties worth thousands of dollars after being caught up in the con. But it’s not as if the offer is so unrealistic, he said.
“What happens is because of corruption, leading the rogues to capitalise on cheating.”