Friendly teenagers do their part in scam

IT was another normal day for Lee (not her real name) who had just settled her car instalment at a local bank and was about to head home after work. 

Two teenagers stopped her as she entered her car. They said their company sold electrical appliances and was celebrating its anniversary and was giving away prices worth over RM1mil, including a Perdana V6, Proton Gen 2, 10 Kancil, motorcycles, plasma TVs and a massage chair.  

The companies recruit such youngsters, who are unaware of their unethical job functions.  

"They looked friendly and innocent,'' said Lee. "I even chatted with them. They told me that they were still studying in college, and doing the job on a part-time basis," said the IT personnel in her mid 20s.  

They asked her to take part in a game by opening a coupon, claiming that if the coupon read "Thank You", she would not win anything but buy the company's products at promotional price, adding that the company would give them RM1 as commission for each "Thank You'' coupon.  

However, they said if the coupon read "Congratulations", she could win any one of the prices, perhaps even a car.  

To support their promises, they showed her newspaper cutting of a middle-aged woman winning the grand prize of a Perdana V6, and two other "lucky ones" who drove home a Kancil. 

"One of them, an 18-year-old girl, told me that she was the one servicing the V6 winner and the company paid her RM2,000 in commission for that," said Lee, who proceeded to open the coupon and found the word "Congratulations" inside.  

"They said there were only 50 'Congratulations' coupons, 36 of which had been won, and so I was the lucky few.  

"They added that the coupon would definitely come with a gift, but before that, I had to buy three products from their company at a promotional price of RM3,888," she said.  

The products were a water purifier, air purifier and foot massager.  

The two encouraged Lee to go to their company's office in Jalan Kuchai Lama since she had been so lucky to come to this stage of the game.  

"The prices attracted me. I thought if I won any of the vehicles, I could trade it in and cover the RM3,888 spent on buying the products. So I followed them to the office. 

"I knew I would have to absorb the sum if I got the plasma TV or the massage chair cause I can't sell them off easily, but I was still tempted to try my luck," she added.  

To her dismay, the coupon showed "Massage Chair" and Lee was immediately asked to pay for the three products to get the chair.  

"I can't be forking out RM4,000, so I refused to take the prize. They said since I had opened the coupon, I had to buy at least two of the products, air purifier and foot massager, at RM1,000," she said.  

Without winning anything, Lee ended up losing RM1,000 and brought home two overpriced products.  

Lee filed her case with the Consumer Claims Tribunal and managed to get her money refunded.  

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