Duo lose RM1.4mil to online ‘investment’ ads

Wanted: DCP Ahmad Dzaffir (left) showing the mugshots of the four men being pursued by the police to assist in investigations.

SEREMBAN: A 71-year-old retiree and a 49-year-old accountant have been scammed of RM1.4mil in a non-existent investment scheme here, says Deputy Comm Datuk Ahmad Dzaffir Mohd Yussof.

The Negri Sembilan police chief said both victims claimed they were attracted to purported investment schemes which offered high returns via Facebook but were later found to be fraudulent.

“The older victim, who invested RM1.2mil, worked in the private sector before his retirement while the other victim, a woman, invested RM200,000.

“Both had lodged reports separately on Feb 20 and 22,” he told reporters at the state police headquarters.

DCP Ahmad Dzaffir said a police probe showed there were 25 similar cases reported nationwide in February alone, involving losses totalling RM5.3mil.

“The scammers adopted the same modus operandi,” he added.

The police are now looking for four people to help investigations.

They are Muhammad Asyraf Mohd Hissam, 27, from Damansara Damai in Selangor, Muhammad Sabran Alias, 38, from Chemor in Perak, V. Paramesvaran, 38, from Setapak in Kuala Lumpur and Muhammad Subris Abdullah, 55, from Batu Gajah in Perak.

DCP Ahmad Dzaffir said anyone with information on them could contact investigating officer Insp Mohd Arif Jamaluddin at 019-400 5037 or the nearest police station.

The cases are being probed under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating, which carries a jail term of between one and 10 years, whipping and a fine upon conviction.

DCP Ahmad Dzaffir advised the public to exercise caution before putting their money into schemes that offered unusually high returns.

He said they should verify all information with official sites such as the police “Semak Mule” online application, Bank Negara’s Financial Consumer Alert List and the Securities Commission portal.

Separately, he said Negri Sembilan police had opened 2,833 investigation papers related to commercial crimes last year involving losses amounting to RM62.5mil.

In 2021, 2,726 investigations involving RM43.1mil in losses were carried out.

There are six categories of commercial crimes: online purchases or ecommerce, telecommunication fraud, non-existent loan and investment schemes, love scams, efinancial fraud and use of mule bank accounts by scammers.

He said the number of telecommunication fraud, non-existent investment schemes and e-financial fraud had registered an increase last year.

“In 2022, we detained 1,425 suspects and 469 were charged in court. In the previous year, 1,233 individuals were caught with 872 being charged,” he said, adding that in the first two months of 2023, 232 suspects were caught and 196 charged with various offences.

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