KUALA LUMPUR: A 42-year-old woman not only lost her savings but became a victim of a loan scam after she befriended a man online.
The account administrator was left RM17,380 poorer for her experience.
The victim, who wished to be known only as Yong, said she got to know "Austin", who claimed to be from Britain, via Facebook on April 4,2018.
After a few weeks, Austin told her that his father, who worked for an oil-and-gas company, had died and the company wanted to compensate his family some RM2mil.
"He needed RM10,000 for a clearance certificate but was short of cash and asked me to lend him RM6,000.
"His demands grew to RM11,000 for documentation that he said was necessary to get the money released," she told a press conference organised by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department in Wisma MCA Wednesday (Sept 18).
Austin even claimed that he had gone to Sabah to see her but their meeting never took place.
"After I've banked in all the money he asked for, he kept giving excuses on why he could not pay me back.
"I felt cheated and lodged a report at the Cheras police district headquarters," she said.
Yong said she had even borrowed from family and friends to help Austin.
"I was having trouble repaying all of them so I contacted a loan company via Facebook, hoping to borrow RM6,000.
"A man named Kevin then instructed me to make various administrative payments to obtain the loan.
"In the end, I paid RM6,380 for various fees, apparently for stamping the agreement and insurance," she said.
Suspecting something amiss, Yong lodged another report at the same police station on Sept 11.
"In all, I lost RM17,380.
"I hope to prevent others from falling victim by sharing my story," she said in between sobs.
Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong said he had encountered 13 similar cases this year, where women were cheated in love scams.
The total losses amounted to RM3.3mil, with the highest being RM1mil for one victim, he added.
"These scammers prey on women with good jobs as they know the women have money," he said, adding that despite highlighting such scams numerous times, people still fell prey to them.
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