Nearly RM40,000 lost to scammers within minutes of mobile app use

(Seated from left) Yap, Lin and Teh holding up police reports. With them are (standing from left) Bangi MCA youth chief and Kajang state constituency complaints bureau chief Chung Wui Fah, MCA coordinator for the Balakong state constituency Chan Chee Teong and Bangi MCA committee member Lee Kah Ho.

TWO women are among the latest victims of online scammers purporting to offer part-time maid services.

Collectively, both women lost close to RM40,000 while trying to make bookings for cleaners on Aug 12.

Freelance designer Grace Lin said she had clicked on an advertisement on social media that later connected her with a person who introduced himself as “Nick”.

She said “Nick” gave her a link to a website to download a mobile application, which he claimed was the only way to make the booking and payment.

“I used my handphone and minutes after making the payment, I saw pop-ups appearing on my phone alerting me to transactions being made from my bank account.

“I immediately called the bank to block my account, but five transfers totalling RM13,800 had already been made from my account to two accounts in two other banks within three minutes.

“The scammer had also transferred another RM3,000 from my account to another two accounts in two different banks via ewallet,” she said.

Lin said she had lodged police reports and sought assistance from the bank, as well as Bank Negara but there has been no follow-up on the matter.

“A Bank Negara officer said that since my actions were essentially the reason why the scam was successful, I have to seek assistance from the police and the bank to sort out the matter.

“I am at a loss and do not know what to do.

“The website and mobile application looked very professional and legitimate,” she said at a press conference at the Bangi MCA service centre.

The other victim, who only wanted to be known as Yap from Kuala Lumpur, said she also responded to a part-time maid service advertisement on social media, which connected her to a man via instant messaging and a phone call.

She said the man convinced her to download a mobile application from a website, to provide details on the services required and make a RM20 booking payment.

“I was hesitant at first as I thought it was such a hassle, but did it anyway.

“The moment I made the RM20 transaction, the page closed. So, I called the man to let him know that I was having difficulty.

“He blamed it on the mobile network and started asking me unnecessary questions such as my house size, type of flooring and number of air conditioners.

“I then told him to send the cleaner and ended the conversation,” she said.

Yap said she felt something was amiss and told her niece, who mentioned that it could be a scam.

“When I checked my account, RM5,750 had been transferred out. I blocked that bank account immediately.

“But later that day, I found that another RM15,580 had been transferred out via ewallet from my three other bank accounts from three different banks.

“I do not know how to get my money back,” she said.

Bangi MCA secretary Alex Teh said it was high time Bank Negara set up a special committee with the relevant authorities, such as Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and the Finance Ministry, to come up with a way to tackle cybercrimes.

“Too many people are falling prey and losing their hard-earned money after being duped.

“How is it when multiple suspicious transactions are made, the banks fail to detect the fraud taking place? How secure are people’s money in the banks?

“The government also needs to look into the ewallet services.

“Many people are using ewallet services but how secure is the system? Has any audit been done?” he questioned.

Teh said online scammers were getting creative and it was very easy to set up fake social media accounts to fool people without being traced.

Therefore, the government needs to provide better security measures to protect the people, he added.

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online scammers , part-time , maid


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