Sarawak deputy commissioner reported that a 56-year-old female clerk working in Sibu had been swindled of a whopping RM1.06 million by her online "lover". 💔
The Sarawak police force received a report from the woman claiming that she was conned by a man she met on social media. She had purportedly gotten to know a man known as 'Thomas Yeng Leong' via Facebook back in 2022 and soon started a relationship with him.
The suspect, 'Thomas', had contacted the victim through WhatsApp and cooked up a story about working as an engineer in London. He then asked her to make payments for the purchase of chemicals for his work. She obliged and unsuspectingly deposited a total of RM395,000 into five different bank accounts from the beginning of August till the end of September 2022.
In September, 'Thomas' had promised the victim that he would soon visit her in Malaysia. Just a few days later, she was contacted by a 'customs officer' who told the victim that her lover had been detained in Thailand for carrying more than the set limit of US dollars and that she would need to pay a fine to bail him out.
Again, the woman believed it was true and transferred RM255,000 to three bank accounts to ensure his release.
"Following that the victim made another 36 money transfer transactions amounting to about RM414,000 to 16 different bank accounts from early May 2023 to the end of July,” said Mancha. He then added, “The money was for the suspect to purchase goods for his work, dating expenses in Malaysia, and emergency use."
The woman finally realised she was being conned when the suspect continuously cited various reasons to get more money from her.
The case is currently being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.
(Source: The Star)
Scams are becoming increasingly elaborate and prolific, particularly through social media platforms. While it is fulfilling to make new friends on these platforms, it is important to guard against strangers.
Remember to NEVER transfer money to someone you do not know personally and have never met face-to-face with.
Stay cautious and be wary of scammers who draw you into transferring large amounts of money or depositing money into many different accounts.
Keep your social media account private, or close your inbox from public as this allows you to filter your interactions.
Look out for friends and family, particularly those who are unfamiliar with social media. Do you have any relatives who jumped on the social media bandwagon? Remember to educate them about these scams and monitor their engagements. If necessary, step in when their actions become suspicious.