The would-be victim T.F. Chay, 55, said that he received a text message on Dec 25 last year saying:
“Need quick cash? Having trouble getting loans from bank? We’re here to assist with all your financial need and emergency use? Reply ‘Y’ we will call you back.”
Chay, who is a sales manager, said he replied to the text message, thinking that he could take a loan to have extra cash for Chinese New Year.
He said a man who introduced himself as senior financial service consultant Jordan Wong contacted him and offered him a personal loan.
“He called out my full identification card (IC) name and knew my previous loan details,” he told a press conference organised by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong on Tuesday.
Chay said he did not think twice about the personal details the man knew, adding that Wong also knew about Chay’s rejected loan application in February, 2017.
“He said he can help me. He said my RM30,000 loan can go up to RM100,000. But I stuck to RM30,000 because I wouldn’t be able to afford to service a higher loan,” said Chay.
He said that Wong claimed that he could apply for loans from 13 different local banks, and asked Chay to provide all the necessary documents for the loan applications.
“He convinced me that my scoring was low, and no good for approval. So he got me to pay RM1,000 as ‘under the table money’ to a bank officer,” he said.
Chay transferred RM1,000 to a local bank account registered under a Malay name on Dec 27.
By this time, Chay was having doubts over the loan and whether it was genuine.
To ease his doubts, Wong sent a photo of his IC and the staff card of the bank officer handling his loan application.
Chay said he later found out that these identification documents were of other individuals who were “completely innocent”.
“He told me my loan was approved already but I had to transfer RM2,450 in legal fees to him. He said after three days, the money would go into my bank account,” he said.
By this time, Chay began to get suspicious, so he went to the bank and found that there was no loan application under his name.
He lodged a police report at the Cheras police station on Dec 28, 2017.
“I cooperated with police to fish out the scammer. So I told the guy (Wong) to come out and collect the money from me,” he said.
Plainclothes police officers followed Chay to the meeting and nabbed the suspect on Dec 31, 2017.
Meanwhile, Chong said that the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department had received reports of seven loan scam cases in 2017, amounting to a total RM252,150 being cheated from victims.
In the first three weeks of this year, the department has already received reports of two cases, including Chay’s case.
“The modus operandi is they will call you and claim that they can get you a loan from the bank. They say you don’t have to worry if you’ve been blacklisted, they will get you the loan,” said Chong.
“The higher the loan, the more you will be asked to pay. They will ask you for legal fees, admin fees, and under-the-counter money for the bank officer,” he said.
Chong said that although this was an old scam, many people are still getting cheated.
“Please, when you want to apply for any loan, go personally to the bank. They will help you apply,” he said.
“If you’re blacklisted, don’t believe in paying under-the-counter money. Please apply through the proper channels,” he added.