KUALA LUMPUR: A 21-year-old Malaysian studying to become a nun in Taiwan was cheated of RM4,500 in a parcel scam case.
MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong on Thursday (Feb 21) highlighted the case of Pang, who has been in Taiwan for about two years.
“While she was there, she befriended a 28-year-old female Indian national but they had not seen each other since August 2018.
“However, when Pang returned to Malaysia last month for a break, she received a WhatsApp message from the Indian woman on Monday (Feb 18),” said Chong.
She told Pang that she will be sending her a parcel containing items such as clothes, shoes, watches, bags, iPhone, iMac, iWatch and Macbook Air, as a gift from India.
The next day, Pang received a phone call from a man whom she suspected to be a foreigner from Africa due to his accent.
He had introduced himself as an officer from a delivery company called the Worldwide Diplomatic Service and requested Pang to bank in RM4,500 as clearance fees for the parcel.
She banked in RM4,500 to a local bank account under a Malay woman’s name on Wednesday (Feb 20) morning at Maybank KLCC.
The man then told her that there was cash of US$500,000 (RM2.04mil) in the parcel and that she needed to apply for an anti-money laundering certificate which would cost RM27,800.
He threatened to lodge a police report against her for money laundering should she fail to bank in the money for the certificate.
Pang’s sister, however, sensed something fishy and urged her to lodge a police report at the Jalan Tun Razak police station on the same day.
Chong did not rule out the possibility that the Indian woman could have gotten her personal details stolen by the culprits, which enabled them to contact Pang using her number.
“She could also have been a victim of the scammers, who might have threatened her to get other victims if she wanted to avoid paying them more money,” said Chong.
Chong advised the public to do some research before banking in money to any unknown parties to avoid being scammed.
“Money doesn’t fall from the sky. Use a bit of common sense and do some research first,” said Chong.
He also expressed his disappointment that Malaysians were still falling victim to parcel scams despite copious news reports on such cases.
“Last year, I received 13 parcel scam cases involving RM6mil and held four press conferences to spread awareness to the public.
“I thought that people were more aware of it but for 2019, we have received four parcel scam cases totalling less than RM100,000,” he said.