JOHOR BARU: A 34-year-old housewife lost RM500 after taking up an "attractive business opportunity" that promised her an additional start-up fund of RM1,500 to sell Hari Raya cookies overseas.
Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the woman was presented with the offer via WhatsApp on Dec 2 last year but only lodged a police report on March 23 after realising that she might have been cheated.
"The victim was told that she only had to fork out RM500 to participate in the scheme, where she would receive an additional funding of RM1,500 and 1,600 jars of festive cookies to be sold overseas.
"Taken by the offer, the housewife debited RM500 into a bank account under the name of Siti Asmah," he said.
On Dec 11, a few days after their first contact, the victim and several others met up with the scheme organiser at Dewan Muhibbah Kulai to further discuss the business opportunity.
However, the victim was put off after she was asked for additional funds, which was not mentioned in their previous conversation.
"She sensed that something was not right and decided to come to the police as she also did not receive the RM1,500 which was earlier promised either," said Ayob.
He added that so far, three similar police reports have been received and police have also been getting other similar complaints.
He urged other victims to come forward and lodge a police report to assist in ongoing investigations under Section 420 of the Penal Code, which carries up to 10 years' imprisonment, caning and a fine, if found guilty.
"We want to remind the public to be more careful about too-good-to-be-true business opportunities that promise handsome returns or those that just do not make sense, especially with the festive period coming soon.
"Please be more wary about transferring money into bank accounts of unknown individuals and companies," he said.
Victims and those with information about the case can head to the nearest police station or call the Johor police hotline at 07-221 2999.