Are Push Pocket Criminals Targeting Tourists In KL?!

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Are criminals using new push pocket tactics to target foreigners and tourists in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : KL Criminals Are Using New Push Pocket Tactics!

People are sharing this message about the new Push Pocket crimes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

It’s a long message, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts.

Genuine message posted by a law firm in Malaysia. If you’re going to KL, take note!

Genuine message posted by a law firm in Malaysia. If you’re going to KL, take note!


I am sure you all have heard of ‘pick pocket’. A new trend ‘push pocket’. Read on.. for your own good.

A few days ago a new type of crime has surfaced in town. It goes something like this:-

Somebody slips a hand-phone into your pocket, sometimes it could be just a wallet with an identity card and a few ringgit.

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Are Push Pocket Criminals Targeting Tourists In KL?!


Truth : KL Criminals Are Not Using New Push Pocket Tactics!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Push Pocket Is A Form Of Extortion

The so-called Push Pocket tactic is nothing new. It is a type of extortion scam, in which the criminal accuses the victim of being a thief – in a reversal of the usual pickpocket tactic.

A similar kind of tactic, called Zig-Zag, was reportedly being used in airports in Thailand, where tourists were allegedly accused of shoplifting in duty-free shops, and had to pay fees to avoid arrest.

Fact #2 : Viral Push Pocket Message Date Back To 2008

This viral message about the push pocket scam in Kuala Lumpur isn’t new. As far as I can tell, it dates back to at least 2008, when it was even shared on TripAdvisor by worried tourists.

It was given some prominence when The Star asked people to “beware of the push pocket scam” in October 2009. Since then, it has been reposted regularly in forums, on social media platforms, and WhatsApp groups.

Fact #3 : PDRM Has Received No Reports On Such Scams

After the message went viral again in January 2023, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) chimed in on the controversy on January 4, 2023.

PDRM secretary, Deputy Commissioner Datuk Norsiah Mohd Saaduddin said that checks showed PDRM has never received any report about such scams.

The public are urged to not fall for messages that have no basis and are not verified. Sharing or spreading such news can cause unrest and worry amongst the public.

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Fact Check : Push Pocket Criminals In Kuala Lumpur?!

Fact #4 : Malaysia Has Laws + CCTV Cameras

Frankly speaking, it is improbable for such crimes to be committed, at least in airports and LRT or MRT stations, because they are covered by CCTV cameras. Malaysia is also not a lawless country, where police officers are blatantly corrupt and turn a blind eye to such crimes.

If a foreigner is accused of stealing from a local resident, the police in Malaysia will investigate and the CCTV footage will show that the foreign tourist did not steal anything.

And if there’s no CCTV footage, it doesn’t mean the foreign tourist gets jailed automatically. That means there is no evidence the foreign tourist stole the item, and therefore, the police have no right to arrest him/her.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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