SIBU: A civil servant lost close to RM40,000 in a Macau scam after she was duped by a caller who told her she was involved in money laundering activities.
Sibu OCPD Asst Comm Stanley Jonathan Ringgit said the 53-year old victim received a phone call from someone claiming to be from "Pos Malaysia Kuching" at about 12pm on Aug 11.
The caller claimed that she had sent a parcel to a recipient in Taman Ipoh, Perak which was now detained as it contained photocopies of identity cards of 10 individuals and an ATM card.
The line was subsequently transferred to a "Sergeant Marzuki", purportedly from Ipoh police station and later to another "Sergeant Wong" who told her that her name had been used for money laundering activities.
"After that one 'Inspector Yon' (supposedly) from Bukit Aman took over the line and instructed the victim to transfer all her money to an account for investigation and to make a complaint with the Audit Department," he said.
According to ACP Stanley, the victim was told that her money would be returned on Aug 14.
She then made four online transfers of RM39,996 to two bank accounts on Aug 12 and 13.
When her money was not credited back into her account on Aug 14, she realised she had been cheated and lodged a police report four days later.
The case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.
The term "Macau Scam" was coined because it is believed that it originated from Macau or that the first victims came from there. This has never been confirmed.
The scam often starts with a phone call from someone pretending to be an officer from a bank, government agency or debt collector.
The scammer will then claim that the potential victim owes money or has an unpaid fine, often with a very short window of less than an hour, to settle the payment or face "dire consequences".
These unsuspecting victims will then be asked to make payments to get them off the hook.