MyKad, money-laundering and Macau scam: Retired teacher loses nearly half-a-mil

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020

JOHOR BARU: A 64-year-old retired teacher lost about RM460,000 to a Macau scam after believing that his MyKad had been misused for money laundering activities.

Johor Commercial Crimes Investigation Department deputy chief Supt Amran Md Jusin said the retiree received a phone call from someone claiming to be a PosLaju representative on Aug 1, telling him that there was a package with his identification card in it.

“The caller told the victim that he was under suspicion for money laundering and had to transfer different amounts of money into several bank accounts to aid in investigations.

“The victim believed the tale and made a total of 20 transactions amounting to RM459,041.90 into separate bank accounts as instructed by the caller,” he said on Wednesday (Sept 16).

Supt Amran added that the victim performed the transactions from Aug 11-28.

“The retiree used up his pension funds, cleaned out the joint savings account with his wife, and also sold his wife’s jewellery for the funds.

“He only realised that he was duped when the suspect called him again, telling him that he would be charged in court soon,” said Supt Amran, adding that the victim filed a police report on Sept 15.

The case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating, which carries a maximum jail term of 10 years, caning and a fine upon conviction, he said.

“The public has been reminded time and time again not to believe claims made by unknown callers and to not panic when receiving such calls.

“The authorities will never ask for your bank account numbers nor will they instruct you to perform any bank transaction or payment.

“The public is encouraged to be wary of such scams that have been rampant of late, and to refrain from giving your money to strangers so easily,” he said.

He added that the public can get in touch with the police by heading to the nearest police station or by visiting to check whether the bank account involved is linked to any cheating cases.

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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