Lecturer loses RM1.3mil in scam

JOHOR BARU: A 41-year-old lecturer was duped of RM1.3mil after being misled by a call from a scammer who claimed to be a police officer.

The woman, who works at a public university, received a call in October last year from someone who introduced himself as a Health Ministry official and accused her of being involved in a fake Covid-19 report in Sabah, said Johor police chief Comm Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat.

“When the lecturer denied it, her call was transferred to another person who identified himself as ‘Inspector Ku’ from the Sabah police headquarters.

“This so-called officer accused her of being linked to money laundering and drug cases and that police were investigating her involvement,” he told a press conference at the state police headquarters here yesterday.

Comm Kamarul Zaman added that “Inspector Ku” then instructed the lecturer to open a new bank account and give the banking details to him.

He said the victim was told to transfer all of her savings into the new account for safekeeping until the “investigations” against her had been completed.

The lecturer, somehow, agreed to do so.

“She transferred about RM1.3mil between Oct 17 and Nov 25 last year to the new account,” Comm Kamarul Zaman said.

According to him, the woman began to realise that she had been duped after noticing that a few transactions had been made to unknown accounts.

She lodged a police report on Saturday.

In another case, Comm Kamarul Zaman said police are finalising the investigation paper on the parents of a boy who sustained burns from a fire at Kampung Parit Kuchi in Pontian on Dec 30.

The case is being investigated under Section 31(1)(a) of the Child Act for child neglect.

“Based on our investigation, the parents thought that the medicine they bought from a pharmacy was adequate to treat the child’s wounds,” he said.

He said the parents, aged 33 and 36, were called up for questioning last Wednesday and later released on police bail.

“The child is being treated at Hospital Sultanah Aminah and is in stable condition,” he added.

On Jan 4, police detained a couple for failing to send their nine-year-old son, who had suffered from burns, to the hospital five days after the incident happened.

Meanwhile, Pontian OCPD Supt Mohammad Shofee Tayib said they were detained following a report lodged by a family member who was upset with the couple’s lackadaisical attitude.

He said the family member had come across messages in the family’s WhatsApp group on Jan 3 about the boy who suffered burns on the right side of his body, including his armpit and thigh.

“Instead of taking the boy to a hospital immediately, his parents decided to self-treat his burns,” Supt Mohammad Shofee said in a statement.

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