JOHOR BARU: The public, especially senior citizens, are being targeted by syndicates attempting to take advantage of them by offering dubious investment schemes using a political party’s name.
In the latest case which took place last Saturday, a 59-year-old man from Pekan Nenas, Pontian known only as Lim, was approached by someone claiming to be Tanjung Piai MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng’s assistant.
Wee, who is also Tanjung Piai MCA division chief, said the impostor allegedly offered to help Lim apply for government welfare aid and asked for the latter’s identification details, bank account information and PIN but Lim refused to disclose his password to the stranger.
“After the man left, Lim immediately came to my service centre to seek clarification and we advised him to lodge a police report.
“I want to remind the public to be careful and not fall for such claims because my service centre does not use this kind of approach to help people, ” said Wee.
He said Lim’s was the second such case, after the first incident in Kukup, Pontian on Oct 9.
Relating the other incident, Wee said a 61-year-old woman was approached by a man who offered to help her apply for RM300 monthly government aid and asked for her ATM card, MyKad, telephone number and water bill.
“The woman gave him what he asked for except her ATM card. A few days later she was shocked to find that her bank account had been changed to another person’s name.
“She quickly asked for the account to be blocked before making a police report, ” said Wee, adding that the woman’s savings were intact.
Johor MCA Public Complaints Bureau chief Kevin Chok Ngen Kerk said the scammers, believed to be from out of state, would usually approach the elderly at markets or home on the pretence of helping them, by impersonating party representatives.
“The syndicate of scammers would ask their potential victims all sorts of questions to gauge their background and ask for details such as identification card and bank account information.
“After that, they will start offering fake investment opportunities just to get the elderly to part with their money, ” he said in an interview, adding that once their target refused to hand over the personal information, the scammer would leave the scene immediately.
Chok reiterated that MCA did not offer any investment deals to the public, nor would its representatives ask for sensitive personal details such as ATM cards and PINs.
“We believe the syndicate is targeting the elderly, thinking that they could be easily influenced or persuaded to part with their money, ” he said.
He added that the bureau was first alerted to such a case which took place in Kluang in early October.
After that, similar attempts were reported in Kulai and Pontian, respectively using Kulai MCA and Tanjung Piai MCA’s names, said Chok.
He said all party divisions had been told to be alert about such activities.
“Luckily so far, the complainants who came to us were smart enough to sense that something was not right and did not give their money to the strangers.
“We advise others who face similar situations, or even those who have given their money to those scammers, to come forward to any MCA division offices where we can assist them with making a police report so that the authorities can take action, ” he added.
When contacted, Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay reminded the public not to hand over their money or personal information to strangers.
“The public should always verify with the relevant quarters and sources before making any decision to fork out money, ” he said.
The public can get in touch with the Johor MCA Public Complaints bureau at 07-3630 008.
Those with information about such cases should go to the nearest police station or call the police hotline at 07-2212 999.
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