Retired teachers scammed of RM3mil

EXCLUSIVE:PONTIAN: Two retired teachers here have lost almost RM3mil to Macau scammers in separate incidents.

In both cases, the scammers claimed to be policemen, debt collectors and bank officers.

In one case, sources said, a 61-year-old woman who came into more than RM2.3mil from the sale of some inherited property received a call from a “debt collector”.

He claimed that she owed the bank several thousand ringgit.

The woman told him that she did not have any outstanding loans with the bank.

“Within a few minutes, she got a call from another man, this one claiming to be a policeman, who told her she was under investigation for money laundering.

“The frightened grandma pleaded with the policeman, who told her to open at least five new accounts and transfer all her money and fixed deposits there as Bank Negara planned to freeze her existing accounts,” the sources added.

They said the scammers were so convincing, and put such fear into her, that the woman opened five accounts and transferred her money there.

“She even gave them her Internet banking passwords and her transaction approval code numbers,” the sources said.

It is learnt that the suspects then started siphoning money from the accounts daily.

The woman only realised that she had been duped when the daily harassment calls stopped and she found that her new accounts had been emptied.

She immediately lodged a police report.

In the other case, another retired teacher, also 61, lost her life savings of RM480,000.

First, the fraudsters called her claiming that she owed the bank RM3,000 in outstanding loans.

The suspects, believed to be from the same gang, then started harassing her with frequent calls, claiming to be police and Bank Negara officers.

Worried that her money would be frozen in a purported “police probe”, she opened a new bank account and transferred her money there.

As in the first case, she also gave the suspects all her Internet banking details and lodged a police report later after she realised the account had been drained.

When contacted, Pontian OCPD Supt Zakaria Abd Rahman said police had learnt of several such cases in the district and were investigating under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

He advised those who receive such calls not to panic and not to be so gullible as to believe claims that they are being investigated and will have their accounts frozen.

He said such cases could have been avoided if the victims had gone to the nearest police station or called their bank to verify if they were being probed.

He urged anyone with information on such cases to call the police hotline at 07-2212999.