PORT DICKSON: A 78-year-old retiree here was cheated of RM400,000 in a parcel scam after he met a person on Facebook in June who claimed to be an American woman.
"The individual, who identified herself as Velostin Tina, told the victim that she wanted to send a parcel containing US$1.5mil (RM6.24mil) to Malaysia and if it was possible if she could send it through him,” said State Commercial Crime Investigations Department chief Supt Aibee Ab Ghani.
He added that the widower met the person on June 20 and said that the victim was told that he would get 30% of the cash once she arrived here.
Supt Aibee said after some time, the victim received a message on WhatsApp from the suspect telling him that the parcel has reached the Customs Department at KL International Airport (KLIA).
"However, the victim was told that he would have to make some payments for tax and duties to get it. He was told to make the payments into several local bank accounts," he said, adding that the victim then banked in cash amounting to RM400,000 into several local bank accounts.
Supt Aibee said that the man used his savings, his credit card to get more money and borrowed from relatives and friends.
He said although the victim paid the money, he was still not given the parcel which had supposedly arrived at KLIA and that the suspect had told the victim that they had arrived in Malaysia but could not meet him as she had to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
"After a few days, the suspect told the victim that she had tested positive for Covid-19 and would only be able to meet him after she underwent treatment,” said Supt Aibee.
"However, after she was apparently treated, she told the victim that the Customs Department had also detained her with the parcel and that she needs his help to pay another RM479,250 to be released," he added, saying that the victim only communicated with the suspect via social media.
Supt Aibee said that this was when the victim finally realised that he had been scammed and lodged a police report.
The case is being probed under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating and offenders can be jailed between between one and 10 years, whipped and fined upon conviction.