Woman loses over RM100,000 in Macau scam

ALOR SETAR: A 35-year-old woman lost RM106,500 after being deceived by a Macau scam syndicate which scared her into believing that she was involved in money laundering and drug activities.

The woman, from Sungai Petani, had received a call last month from a man who introduced himself as Encik Razali from the Kuala Lumpur Post Office, said Kedah Commercial CID chief Supt Elias Omar.

“Encik Razali” told her there was an envelope with her name on it and that it contained an identity card and eight automatic teller machine cards that she had sent from Alor Setar.

He also told her that upon checking the identity card, the woman was listed by the authorities as being involved in money laundering and drug activities.

‘’The man then told the victim that she would be connected to the Seremban district police headquarters (IPD) and was put through to several individuals claiming to be policemen,” said Supt Elias in a statement.

He added that the “officers” told the woman to go to the Seremban IPD in two hours, failing which a warrant of arrest would be issued.

“The victim was then connected to a Puan Maria, who introduced herself as a senior officer at the Seremban IPD. The victim was then directed to transfer her money to certain accounts, purportedly for insurance coverage.

“The victim transferred a total of RM106,500 on Sept 29 and Oct 1 into two CIMB bank accounts. She told her family members what had happened and realised that she had been scammed,’’ he said.

Supt Elias said the victim lodged a report at the Sungai Petani police station on Oct 1 and an investigation paper was opened under Section 420 of the Penal Code.

“I urge the public not to be easily duped by this syndicate or give out personal details online. Check with the police for confirmation if you receive such a telephone call,’’ he added.

A Macau 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.

These syndicates will also pay drug addicts and the unemployed for using their bank accounts to receive payments from victims.

To make the scam more convincing, these syndicates often use Voice Over Internet Protocol or spoofing so that the caller identification number that appears on the victim’s phone looks identical to the phone number of the agency they are pretending to be from. — Bernama
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