IPOH: A hairstylist is afraid for his family's safety after getting ensnared in a loan scam.
The 35-year-old, who wanted to be known as Chan, said he had been receiving threats on WhatsApp from an unknown person, believed to be a scammer, demanding to be paid a large sum of money or to face consequences.
He said he had received threats that his shop would be splashed with red paint and that they would go after his family.
"I also got a voice message telling me that if I die, they will still come after my family," he told a press conference held by Ipoh Barat MCA coordinator Low Guo Nan here on Friday (Sept 23).
Chan said he received RM500 on Sept 21 after getting in touch with someone from a lending company he found on Facebook.
"I initially wanted to borrow RM50,000 and even paid RM1,860 in three transactions to secure the money.
"I was told that the RM1,860 was for three months of repayments upfront and I transferred the money into two separate bank accounts," he said.
"I then got a message from a different number saying that RM500 had been wired into my bank account.
"I wanted to return the money as I did not borrow the money from the person.
"He refused to accept the money and instead told me to pay RM5,000 or they will come after my family," he said.
Chan said he was aware of online scams but never thought he would fall victim to one.
Low, who accompanied Chan when lodging a police report on Thursday, said he cross-checked the two bank accounts where the money had been deposited using the SemakMule portal (semakmule.rmp.gov.my).
"Both accounts are in the list and there have also been other people who have lodged police reports about them.
"Why aren't these two accounts frozen by the bank or Bank Negara and are still active?," he asked, adding that such accounts should have been suspended when police reports were lodged against them.
Low said Chan had even tried to get his bank to return the RM500 to the scammer but was told that they were not authorised to do so, even if the latter had a police report.
"I urge the people to be careful when they come across advertisements for loans on social media platforms," he added.