Duped twice over ‘Austin’

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 19 Sep 2019

Personal problems: Yaw showing an old photo of her son whom she plans to disown. With her are Chong and Yong.

KUALA LUMPUR: A 42-year-old woman was duped of her life savings by a man she met online.

On top of that, the account administrator was also a victim of a loan scam, causing her to part with a total of RM17,380.

The victim, who only wished to be known as Yong, said she got to know “Austin”, who claimed to be from England, via Facebook in April last year.

“After a few weeks, Austin told me that his father, who worked for an oil and gas company, passed away and the company wanted to compensate his family some RM2mil.

“However, he needed RM10,000 for a clearance certificate. As he was short of cash, Austin asked me to lend him RM6,000, ” she said in a press conference organised by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department yesterday.

Austin made more requests after that, she said, adding that the amount soon came up to RM11,000 for various documentation to “release” the compensation.

Yong said Austin would later give all sorts of excuses why he could not pay her back.

“I felt cheated and lodged a report at the Cheras police district headquarters, ” she said.

Yong said she borrowed from family and friends to get the money for Austin.

“I was having trouble paying all of them back so I resorted to contacting a loan company via Facebook, with the intention of borrowing RM6,000.

“A man named Kevin contacted me and requested that I make various administrative payments to obtain the loan.

“In the end, I paid RM6,380 for various fees, including stamping fee, agreement fee and insurance fee, ” she said.

Feeling she was again duped, Yong lodged another police report on Sept 11.

“In total, I lost RM17,380, ” she said in between tears.

Yong said she was sharing her story to alert others from falling victim to such deception.

MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong said he encountered 13 similar cases this year of women being duped in love scams.

“The total losses amounted to RM3.3mil. The highest amount involved a victim who lost RM1mil. She was fooled by someone she met online.

“These scammers prey on women with good jobs, as they know these women have money, ” he said.

In another case, a 52-year-old woman and her family were harassed by loan sharks because of her son’s unpaid debts.

Identified only as Yaw, she said her son had been missing for 13 years since he left home when he was 16.

“However, he borrowed from an ah long, listing our family home as his address based on his MyKad.

“As a result, my house and my daughter’s car were splashed with red paint on Sept 5. And the loan sharks left a note as a last warning on Sept 16, ” she said.

The note warned the family that they have three days to settle the debt.

Yaw said she planned to disown her son.

“I don’t even know how much he borrowed, ” she said, adding that she has lodged two reports at the Wangsa Maju police district headquarters.

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