3 from Sibu, Miri, Bintulu lose RM1.6 mln to various scams

Dato Mancha Ata

KUCHING, Nov 21: Three individuals from Sibu, Miri, and Bintulu have fallen victim to various scams, resulting in them losing a total amount of RM1,694,000.

In a press statement, Sarawak police commissioner Dato Mancha Ata said all the reports were received on Nov 20.

The first case saw a woman in her 60s who lost about RM900,000 to a phone scam.

“The victim, a hairstylist in Sibu, received a phone call from an unknown number on Oct 17. When she answered the call, the suspect introduced themselves as ‘Inspector Koo’ from the Perak police headquarters (IPK) who told the victim that an unknown individual had used her bank account for money laundering,” he said.

He added the suspect instructed the victim to open a new bank account and transfer all her money to it so that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) could monitor it.

Following the instructions, the victim subsequently opened a new bank account at a local banking institution with a deposit of RM2,000 and transferred around RM900,000 through four transactions.

The victim only realised she’d been deceived when she told her child about the experience on Nov 20, prompting her to check her bank account to see that her money had been transferred to seven third-party bank accounts involving 55 transactions from mid-October to early November.

The second case occurred in Miri, whereby police received a report on an investment scam lodged by a woman in her early 30s who suffered losses of about RM440,000.

“On Dec 21, 2021, the victim’s two friends introduced her to an investment known as ‘Betadia Investment’ (‘Pelaburan Betadia’), which they described as a ‘forex investment’ with four packages — RM3,715, RM6,530, RM12,700, and RM24,500 — that promised returns between 15 per cent and 17 per cent,” he said.

The victim, interested in the investment, performed 38 transactions from Dec 2021 to early Sep 2022 involving RM440,000 to 15 bank accounts.

“She realised she was scammed when she could not access the investment website (www.betadia.com) and received no returns.”

For the third case, police received a report from a man in his mid-40s who lost RM350,000 in an e-commerce scam.

“The man, who works offshore in Bintulu, saw an advertisement selling a Suzuki Jimny car worth RM40,000 on Facebook on May 26. Interested in purchasing the car, the victim contacted a sales agent named ‘Tan Fu Long’ through WhatsApp.

“Without doing any background checks, the victim performed 76 transactions to 17 accounts from early Sept to early November, totalling RM350,000.

“He only lodged a police report when he could not contact the suspect and never acquired the car,” he said. — DayakDaily