SIBU: A teacher and a clerk lost a total of RM209,907 in two separate Macau Scams.
Sibu OCPD Asst Comm Stanley Jonathan Ringgit said both victims had transferred their hard-earned money to the scammers after falling prey to the scare tactics deployed against them.
In the first case on Dec 15, a 45-year-old teacher of a secondary school had received a call around 2pm from a man who claimed to be from the post office.
"The man told her that there was a parcel with her identity card and several credit cards," he said.
ACP Stanley said the call was subsequently transferred to a woman by the name of Camelia who told the teacher that the matter was a serious one.
She then transferred the line to a "police officer" named Sergeant Teo.
" Sergeant Teo accused her of drug trafficking and money laundering after he had reviewed her identity card and credit cards in the so-called parcel. He advised her to transfer all her money to an account of an auditor so as to clear her name," he said.
The victim did as told and made 10 transfers to an account totalling RM143,900.
In the other case, ACP Stanley said a 44-year-old clerk fell for a similar scam story when she received a call on Dec 11 from a man from "Pos Laju Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur."
"The victim was told that a parcel with her identity card as well as a credit card had been sent from Kota Kinabalu to Kuantan.
"A 'police officer from Sabah' took over the line and informed her that a special team was now in Sibu to arrest her for money laundering and drug trafficking. She was also advised not to reveal anything to anyone," he added.
ACP Stanley said the victim was also advised to buy a new handphone as it was not safe to talk using a landline.
"She subsequently bought a new handphone. The suspect again threatened that she would be arrested and be imprisoned for three years in a prison in Sabah," he said.
The victim, ACP Stanley said, felt scared and was also worried over the safety of her family.
She opened a new bank account and registered her phone number as told by the "police officer" if she wanted no action to be taken against her.
She then transferred RM66,070 to the new account.
The two cases, ACP Stanley said are 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.
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