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26 JAN 2021

MELAKA: A housewife lost RM2.08 million after being cheated by a Macau scam syndicate member who posed as a police officer with the title ‘Datuk’, claiming that she was involved in drug dealing and money laundering.

Melaka Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Supt E. Sundra Rajan said the woman, 49, received a call from an individual claiming to be from the Pahang contingent police headquarters on Jan 10.

He said the money was from her own savings and inherited from her family.

“Using the WhatsApp application, the suspect showed the victim her arrest warrant and a letter to freeze her assets before instructing her to divulge her bank account details for investigation purposes. Frightened, she conformed.

“The victim also provided the six-digit one-time password (OTP) to the suspect. She then became suspicious and referred the matter to the bank,” he said in a statement last night.

Sundra Rajan said the bank informed her that there had been 164 online transfers carried out through 'DuitNow' worth RM2.08 million to 16 different bank accounts. She then lodged a police report.

He said police checks through the website revealed that the suspect’s phone number, 014-7410772, was also involved in 13 other reports using the same modus operandi, adding that the case would be investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

In another development, Sundra Rajan said a bank officer, 57, lost RM24,500 after being cheated by a syndicate trading in old currencies on Facebook.

He said the man received a message purportedly from an American collector of old currencies named Smith Dion Ryan, who was interested in buying his old currency, which was advertised, at a very high price in US currency.

"The victim then agreed to deal with the suspect and received a WhatsApp message from the suspect using the number +1(604)7062606 stating that the payment had been made to the victim’s account. However, since it was an overseas payment, the suspect claimed that the victim had to pay a fee to release the money from being withheld by the bank,” he said.

He said the victim then made a payment of RM24,500 to five separate accounts given by the suspect before he realised he had been conned when he failed to receive the money promised for the purchase. -Bernama


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