PETALING JAYA: A retiree lost his life savings when he gave RM100,000 to "policemen" as bail for his son who had apparently been arrested for drug offences.
The 60-year-old man from Seapark received a phone call from his son's telephone number and was surprised to find a man with a different voice on the other end.
The man introduced himself as a narcotics police inspector and claimed the retiree's 32-year-old son had been nabbed for drugs.
Ordering the bewildered father to stay on the phone with him the entire time, the "inspector" told the man that he had to pay RM200,000 to bail out his son from the lockup.
"The man pleaded with the conman saying he only at as much as RM100,000 in his savings. The suspect then agreed to the sum and asked him to drop the cash in a bag at a temple near the SS2 food court," said Petaling Jaya OCPD ACP Azmi Abu Kassim.
He said the retiree did as he was asked, staying on the phone with the fake officer every step of the way.
"Once he had dropped off the money, the man went home and called his son. His son was in college at the time, unaware of anything that had happened. He had never been arrested.
"When he realised what had happened, it was too late and the money had vanished," ACP Azmi said.
There have been 19 cases with the same modus operandi in Selangor since October.
So far, approximately RM295,000 has been lost to the scam, with elderly folk usually the targets.
ACP Azmi said the syndicate would use Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to clone numbers when calling victims, and would usually introduce themselves as Inspector Wong or Inspector Faizal.
"They will make you stay on the phone with them the entire time so that you can't call someone else to verify their claims," he said.
The scammers would even employ "actors" to cry in the background while speaking to their victims to trick them into thinking that their loved ones were in distress.
"Police will never ask for money to bail out someone, the courts are the ones that set the bail conditions. We also won't ask you to drop off bail money in a bag at a public place," ACP Azmi said.