40yo traditional medicine operator loses RM1.4 million in crypto investment fraud

Scam alert. — DayakDaily.com file pic // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, May 19: Another investment fraud! This time it involves RM1.4 million and a 40-year-old woman.

Sarawak police commissioner Dato Mohd Azman Ahmad Sapri said the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) Sarawak had yesterday (May 18) received a report from the victim, who operates a traditional medicine shop.

The incident occurred on Feb 1, 2023 when the victim was approached by someone she knew on the Weibo app, who offered her an investment opportunity in a crypto exchange.

“The person provided a WBEX link via WhatsApp, requesting the victim to register personal information such as her name, email address, phone number, ID card photo, and bank account number.

“Intrigued by the promising high returns displayed in the application’s investment reports, the victim decided to participate.

“Between Feb 1, 2023 to May 5, 2023, the victim had made 34 payment transactions to 25 different bank accounts, totalling of RM1.4 million,” Mohd Azman said in a statement today.

Unfortunately, the victim received only one investment return of RM3,260 at the beginning of the investment period on Feb 1, 2023. It was only later that she realised it was an investment scam, as no further investment returns were received as promised.

Mohd Azman disclosed that the CCID Sarawak has recorded 68 cases, resulting in a loss of RM5.9 million, between January and April of this year.

“In comparison, during the same period last year, there were 67 cases with a loss amounting to RM2.8 million. This indicates a significant increase of RM3.1 million in losses,” he added.

As part of CCID Sarawak’s ongoing efforts to combat investment fraud in the region, 18 arrests have been made this year, compared to nine arrests during the same period last year.

Additionally, a total of 28 investigation papers have been initiated in 2023, whereas there were only six investigation papers in 2022.

With that, the police strongly advised the public to exercise caution and avoid falling for deceptive advertisements or offers on social media that guarantee lucrative investment returns.

Mohd Azman also emphasised the need for people to be vigilant and not easily swayed into transferring money or sharing their personal banking information with unknown individuals.

Instead, he urged individuals to take extra precautions and seek guidance from their nearest police station or bank for advice before making any financial transactions.

By doing so, the public can protect themselves from potential scams and fraudulent activities. — DayakDaily