KUALA LUMPUR: An 18-year-old girl was scammed a whopping RM23,000 on the pretext of getting an iPhone 8 for "free".
The victim, who only wished to be known as Yong, said she added a WeChat user who supposedly promotes iPhone products on Feb 26.
"The WeChat user claimed that I will get a free iphone 8 if I share their WeChat QR code to all of my WeChat groups.
"After I have done so, the user then said I have to transfer RM158 to an account number to get the phone but the user said it will be refunded," she told a press conference at the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department on Tuesday (March 12).
The amount that had to be paid to get the phone continued to grow, Yong added.
"On March 1, the user then said that the phone that I will get is just the front cover, thus I have to pay for the phone's battery, RAM and CPU.
"Again, the user claimed that all paid fees will be refunded," she said.
Yong said one of the fees was for an administrative fee amounting to RM15,888.
"I continued to pay as I was confident that my money will be refunded.
"I ended up paying a total of RM23,000, which I borrowed from my uncle," the girl said.
One of her last payments was on March 5 and ever since, she has not received the phone, let alone the refund.
"I have since lodged a police report at the Seremban police station," she said.
Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong advised the public not to be easily fooled by such lucrative offers.
"If it's too good to be true, then it is probably is. Always stay vigilant and wary of suspicious offers that require payment," he said.
Chong said he already received a few scam cases this year, resulting in a total of RM92,000 in losses.
"I won't be surprised if other scam cases occur within a few days or even weeks of this case," Chong said.