Crime & Courts

Lovestruck retiree, unemployed man lose almost RM500k to scammers

JOHOR BARU: Two men lost almost RM500,000 in separate incidents after they became victims to a Love and Job scams, within a span of six days.

On Dec 21, a 57-year-old unemployed man was offered a work-from-home online position via WhatsApps, with lucrative returns.

In a text conversation with the fraudster, the victim was told that he was required to upload videos which will be provided to him on social media platforms with given links, and boost its views by clicking the "like" button.

The position with minimal working hours from the comfort of his house was promised to generate high returns.

However, he was instructed to make several cash transfers to various mule bank accounts, to multiply his profits.

The victim adhered to the instructions, and made RM252,900 in total cash transfers and deposits to the given bank accounts.

He lodged a police report after he realised that he was duped, when there were no returns and was asked to make further transfers.

In the second incident on Dec 27, a 69-year-old retiree lodged a report when he was cheated into banking in RM242,620.30 to 'release' a woman held at the immigration department.

Apparently, the foreign woman who was on her way to visit him, had failed to declare the over US$10,000 (RM46,137) she had brought with her.

He was instructed to make the deposits as a fee to release the woman and avoid deportation for the offence.

The retiree had got to know the woman via an online dating application several months prior to the scam.

His 'soul-mate' claimed that she wanted to find a job in Johor, in order to be close to him.

The love-struck retiree fell for the sugar-coated promises and was waiting for her arrival anxiously.

However, he received a call from a man claiming to be an immigration officer, and asked for the fee for her release.

He realised his dreams were just a fantasy after making the payments, and attempts to call the woman or the officer were futile.

Johor Acting Police Chief Deputy Commissioner M. Kumar said both cases were investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

In total, both men lost RM495,520.30 within a span of six days.

He urged members of the public to remain vigilant especially when making banking transactions.

"Scammers will resort to various modus operandi, and tug at one's heart for financial gains.

"It is avoidable as there are numerous platforms where the police's Commercial Crime Investigation Department highlighted the scammers' modus operandi," he said.

He added online verification services should be used before making cash transactions including 'Whoscall' to reduce the risk of falling victim to scams.

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