IPOH: A former sales representative from Taman Cahaya Bercham here fell victim to an online scam and lost about RM166,000.
Wanting to be known only as Yenny, the 50-year-old said she was looking for a job and found an advertisement on Instagram with attractive benefits on July 19 this year.
Yenny said the job description had offered flexibility, earnings of up to RM8,000 and daily payout.
"After I clicked on it to get more details, I received a message on WhatsApp from an unknown number, claiming to be an 'affiliate marketing team' that helps e-commerce merchants improve their sales and ratings.
"After giving my personal details, I was immediately given two jobs to do," she told an online press conference held by Perak MCA public service and complaints bureau chief Low Guo Nan on Sunday (Aug 1).
"The job scope involved putting items in a cart on an e-shopping website, snap a screenshot of it to show to my immediate supervisor.
"I would then be given a bank account where I need to make some advance payments and I would get 10% commission for it," she said, adding that she had made over 40 transactions to nine different bank accounts.
Yenny said she then felt something was amiss when the company started to deduct her "earnings" by giving various excuses, including not meeting the deadline for the job and other penalties.
"In order to get back the advance payments that I have made earlier, I would need to complete more jobs.
"My bank called me one day to ask about the frequent transactions involving large sums of money, cautioning me about being scammed. They then froze my account to prevent more transactions from being made," she said.
"A man, who claimed to be the online company general manager, later called me and asked about why I had stopped and I told him about my concern.
"He threatened me and said that I will not get back my money if I don't continue what I was doing," she said, adding that a police report was lodged on Friday (July 30).
Low said Yenny came to him several days ago after being advised to do so and he had helped her with the police report.
"I have also cross-checked the nine bank accounts on the police commercial crime web portal and found that there have been numerous reports lodged against these.
"Since there have been police reports, why are these accounts not frozen and still actively being used by the scammers?" he asked.
"I hope the police will look seriously into this," he said.
"I also advise job seekers to be more alert when they are looking for work. You are supposed to earn money from your employer, not the other way round," he added.