Love scammers meet their match as cops come knocking

KUALA LUMPUR: Five Nigerians believed to be operating a love scam and e-commerce scam syndicate have been busted by police.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob said a team raided two apartments at Ruvena Villa, Taman Putra Perdana, Puchong, between 9am and 11am on Tuesday (Feb 9).

"We arrested four men and one woman, all Nigerians, aged between 30 and 35.

"Based on investigations all the suspects are involved in love and e-commerce scams targeting victims from Malaysia and Thailand," he said in a statement on Thursday (Feb 11).

He said police seized four laptops, 15 mobile phones, two modems, a passport and an ATM card.

"The suspects were believed to have entered Malaysia using student visas.

"They are believed to have been assisted by friends living abroad and used their girlfriends from various countries to act as bank account mules," he said, adding that the suspects have been linked to two love and e-commerce cases.

Meanwhile, Comm Zainuddin said last year, a total 6,337 e-commerce fraud cases were reported involving at least RM43.58mil in losses.

"We also received a total of 1,697 reports on love scam cases involving losses of at least RM64.33mil.

"To avoid falling victim to love and e-commerce scams, members of the public are advised to always be vigilant.

"They should also be careful when making any online transactions with unfamiliar individuals on social sites offering various offers of quality goods at lower prices than the market price.

"Avoid making payments into bank accounts in the name of an individual different from the name of the seller," he said.

He also advised people to avoid accepting friend requests from unknown individuals on social networking sites.

Comm Zainuddin added that the public should exercise caution and not fall for persuasion, sweet talk and promises made by online acquaintances.

"These syndicates use sweet words and false promises to lure their victims until it eventually results in monetary losses.

"Never disclose personal and banking information to anyone and never lend or provide ATM cards and bank accounts to someone else to use for business because account holders can also be investigated and prosecuted," he said.

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