KUALA LUMPUR: Parcel scams continue to haunt Malaysians as yet another person falls for the con, being cheated out of RM135,000.
This time, the victim, known only as Cheah, said she had first gotten to know a man – Tsung James – online after he messaged her on social media on the pretext of striking up a friendship.
Cheah, who started talking to Tsung on Dec 5, said after a few days, he told her that he was sending a parcel to her as a Christmas gift.
“He told me: ‘I am buying a present for my mother. So, I want to buy you a gift as well.’
“I didn’t think anything of it. I let him send it,” she told reporters at a press conference called by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong here yesterday.
She claimed that Tsung had told her that among the contents of the parcel were a laptop, an iPhone 8 Plus, bottles of perfume and a Louis Vuitton bag.
However, on Dec 13, Cheah said she suddenly received a call from one Beckham Courier, claiming that the parcel was too heavy and that she needed to pay RM5,000 to claim it.
Not suspecting anything, she made the payment.
However, she was then told that the parcel contained US$700 (RM2,851) and that she had to pay RM30,000 to receive an Anti-Terrorism Certificate to both release the parcel and avoid investigation by the authorities.
Alarmed by this, Cheah paid the RM30,000, followed by another RM100,000 for the parcel to be finally released.
“Tsung then told me that there was a huge amount of money in the parcel,” she said, adding that he claimed this to be more than US$700.
Cheah said she used both her savings and borrowed money from friends to pay the amount needed as the person who claimed to be from the courier company had started to threaten her.
“As I was so stressed, my friends tried to help me,” she said.
Feeling helpless about the situation, Cheah went to see Chong on Tuesday for help.
“When I realised that this was a scam, I felt like I wanted to kill myself.
“I’m scared. I can’t sleep,” she said, adding that she had lodged a police report.
Chong said this year alone, 14 victims of parcel scams had come to see him after being conned out of a total of RM7.93mil.
Victims of the parcel scam, he said, were usually women who were single or single mothers. He warned the public to be more alert.