Buyer loses RM63,000 to scammer selling cheap gaming consoles

(From left) Chong, Chew and Pua with copies of the police reports lodged against the seller.

AN online seller lost RM63,000 after falling for an advertisement on social media offering gaming console PlayStation 5 at below-market prices.

Chew Jia Yi, 28, said he paid for 25 units of the console from the seller in Penang last year, but never received the items.

“I messaged the person who posted the advertisement to buy five units, which was delivered.

“After that, he called to tell me that new stock was arriving and told me to bank in the money to buy them,” he said.

Chew then made several online transfers last year — on Sept 27, 28 and 29, as well as on Oct 10 and 11 — totalling RM63,000.

He grew suspicious when the person gave various reasons for not delivering the items and later deactivated his account.

In early November, Chew and his business partner Chong Pak Leong, 25, went to the person’s home address in Penang but could not find him.

They lodged a report at the Kepala Batas police station in Penang, after which the scammer was tracked down.

“A meeting took place during which the person promised to refund the money within two weeks.

“But we have yet to receive it,” said Chong, when met at the Kepong DAP service centre in Kuala Lumpur, along with Chew.

Also present was another victim, Pua Yuan Toung, who also lodged a police report.

On Nov 19, Penang Commercial Crime Investigation Department said investigations found that the 23-year-old suspect was operating alone.

Its director Asst Comm Mohd Asmadi Yusoff said the person had used his and his mother’s bank accounts for the online transactions.

“He had sold the consoles using social media accounts, namely Facebook and Instagram,” ACP Mohd Asmadi was quoted as saying in the media.

On Nov 15, Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department confirmed that the suspect was detained in Penang.

Its deputy director Comm Datuk Kamarudin Md Din said the matter was being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code.

Kuala Lumpur DAP Public Complaints Bureau director Yew Jia Haur said he would write to the police for an update on the case.

He advised the public to avoid transferring money online for such transactions.

“Opt for cash-on-delivery instead to safeguard yourself against scammers,” he said.

Yew urged other victims of the seller to lodge police reports.

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