Duped by ‘handyman’

SCAMMERS are at it again and this time they are using fake advertisements on social media to target individuals keen on getting their faulty roofs fixed.

CK Chow, from Taman Bukit Segar Jaya 2 in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, came across an advertisement for rooftop repairs on a social media platform.

He contacted the person who “repaired” the roof of his terrace house, adding that he not only lost RM1,600 but his leaky roof problem remained.

Chow, a delivery man, shared his story at an online media conference hosted by DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) public complaints bureau director Lee Wen Bin and deputy director Aw Wai Kit.

“The repair shop I found online was legitimate.

“I thought I was speaking to the handyman from the same shop through a mobile number.

“The handyman went up my house roof to carry out the repairs and after a few hours, he said the job was done.

“I did not doubt him although I thought the job was done too fast as it was completed within just four hours.

“When I remarked on how quickly it was done, the handyman claimed it was because he was an expert.

“As for payment, he wanted me to bank it into a personal account instead of the company’s.

“I did not question it and banked in the money.

“Unfortunately, during a recent downpour, water gushed into the house through the roof and it was far worse than before,” said Chow.

When he called the handyman again on the same mobile number, he could not reach him.

‘“The online advertisement was deleted and he had blocked my phone number,” said Chow.

He later learned that the existing shop did not have any social media presence. The handyman had created a fake account using details of the legitimate repair shop.

The handyman that Chow contacted used to be an employee of the shop but he had left and could not be contacted.

Angry that he was cheated over the roof repair, Chow lodged a police report on the matter.

Meanwhile, Aw said such services scams were on the rise in recent months.

He said scammers were taking advantage of individuals under the current Covid-19 pandemic, as many were desperate to have minor repairs done.

He believes these scammers are tech-savvy and know how to use psychological tricks and techniques to convince customers.

“I have received threatening calls warning me against getting involved in helping people lodge police reports.

“I believe this is a new form of duping that the public should be aware of so that they do not fall victim,” he added.

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