Retired engineer cheated of over half a million ringgit in Macau scam

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 28 Sep 2019

SEREMBAN: A 64-year-old retired aircraft engineer has been duped of RM551,111 in a Macau scam.

Negri Sembilan commercial crime chief Supt Aibee Ab Ghani said the victim from Nilai first received a call on Sept 20 from a woman who identified herself as "Nadiah Nizam" from the Kuantan post office.

"She claimed there was a package for him which contained an identity card and credit cards belonging to the victim and were to be sent to Kuching. However, the package had been intercepted by the Customs Department as these apparently cannot be sent via post.

"When the victim denied this, the call was transferred to the Kuantan police station where a male who identified himself as 'Sjn Andy Lho Tin Hao' asked him to lodge a report immediately," he said.

Supt Aibee said the victim was then told that he was apparently involved in money laundering activities involving RM1.48mil and that he had apparently received RM148,000 as an incentive.

The victim was also told there was an arrest warrant out for him.

On Sept 23, the victim again received a call from a "Sjn Rafie" and the call was then connected to someone who identified himself as "Insp Zulfakar".

"The victim was told that he would be arrested soon," he said.

Supt Aibee said the victim was again put through to one "Insp Ting Tien Hau" who claimed that the victim had acted in cahoots with a criminal known as "Danny Wong".

"The victim was then asked to withdraw his bank savings and to remit the cash into three different accounts in a bank till the police complete their probe," he said.

Supt Aibee said on Sept 27, Insp Ting again called the victim who then asked him to withdraw his EPF savings. However, the victim's wife advised him against it.

The victim then realised he had been duped and lodged a report.

Supt Aibee added that the police were now looking for Muhamad Hasim Zulfahmi and Norhayati Abdullah to help in the probe.

Police are also probing a company Ziela Trading which also has an account at the same bank.

The case is being invetigated 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.

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