KUALA LUMPUR: A loan application of RM15,000 turned into a cycle of non-stop borrowing for a man who ended up owing money to 22 loan sharks believed to be working together.
The mechanic from Sekinchan was seeking funds to set up a car workshop when he stumbled upon a Facebook group offering loans.
“I sent a request for a RM15,000 loan, and a man named Jackson messaged me via WhatsApp asking for my identity card and business card,” said the 26-year-old, who only wanted to be known as Kan, at a press conference in Wisma MCA here yesterday.
After supplying copies of the documents, Kan was told by Jackson that his loan application had been approved but he needed to pay RM4,000 for the “processing fees”.
Jackson told Kan to raise the funds and gave him the contact number of a loan shark.
A couple of hours later, another person who identified himself as Andy messaged Kan offering him a loan of RM4,000.
Kan proceeded to transfer the RM4,000 to Jackson but he did not receive the RM15,000 loan from him and was later blocked from messaging him.
Andy then kept pestering Kan to repay the loan and later gave Kan the contact of another loan shark.
This continued until Kan ended up borrowing money from a total of 22 loan sharks.
Kan had paid more than RM9,000 for the debts he owed, but he still has a remaining balance of RM13,150 to be paid off.
About 10 more loan sharks have been messaging him to offer their “services” to him.
MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong said it was likely that the loan sharks offering contacts of other loan sharks were in cahoots with each other to deceive Kan.
He said in 2018 he received 14 complaints of unscrupulous moneylenders demanding a preliminary, or “test”, payment from interested borrowers.
Chong urged the public to be wary of such cases as these moneylenders were turning to social media for their ill-intentioned schemes.
“Last time they would use advertisements such as flyers or posters, now they use Facebook to have a group chat (to lure victims).”