KUALA LUMPUR: Scammers have a new tactic for finding victims – by asking people to answer "survey forms" in shopping malls, then taking them somewhere with fewer people and threatening them.
A 25-year-old graphic designer fell victim to just such a scam at a shopping mall in Bukit Bintang recently.
She said a man in his 20s named Vincent approached her and asked her to fill out a survey form. He brought her to a Japanese restaurant, where he was later joined by two other men.
"After I filled in the form, they told me that they were a part of money-laundering business and that they would give me RM20,000, if I gave them RM10,000," said Leong at a press conference at Wisma MCA on Thursday (Nov 15).
When she told them that she did not have that much money, the scammers said that she could apply for a personal loan from a money lender.
"They said I wouldn't be able to leave the mall if I didn't pay them and that they would hurt me if I told anyone," she said.
Leong borrowed money from her friend, and the scammers brought her to an ATM machine to withdraw the money.
She gave them RM5,000. Later that night and thereafter, she received calls from the extortionists who demanded the remaining sum.
Leong later lodged a police report and filed a complaint to MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong.
At the press conference, Chong said he managed to talk to Vincent but he could not draw out more information from him.
He urged members of the public to be cautious when asked to fill out survey forms at shopping malls.