Tbong Khmum provincial police on Tuesday held a press conference accompanied by two criminals convicted of impersonating high-ranking officials to remind the public to be wary of scammers.

The suspects, 65-year-old male Suon Mony and his assistant, 36-year-old female Khorn Somaly, were previously sent to the provincial prison for their crimes, which included cheating lower-ranking officials out of money in exchange for fake promotions and raises.

Provincial deputy police chief Chak Sok Kao said on Wednesday that Mony, the mastermind behind the scheme, was from Svay Rieng district’s Check commune in Svay Rieng province and Somlay was from Tbong Khmum district’s Srolob commune in Tbong Khmum province.

Mony and Somaly were sued by their victims. Tbong Khmum provincial police investigated the case and detained the two in early July. The provincial court convicted and sentenced them to prison, Sok Kao said.

Citing Mony, Sok Kao said that he posed as the secretary or deputy secretary of different ministries, while Somaly would pretend to be his secretary.

Mony would ask victims to send money to Somaly and when they received it, the partners in crime would escape. In total, they defrauded officials of tens of thousands of dollars.

The scheme worked for many years, Sok Kao said.

He said the pair had been imprisoned once before for the same crime and continued their operation upon their release.