Hoping to save on utility bills, man loses RM39,700 to online scammers

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

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SIBU, July 20: A self-employed man was duped of RM39,700 in a dubious utility bill paying app scam.

Sibu district police chief ACP Stanley Jonathan Ringgit said while browsing Facebook on July 16, the 49-year-old victim was attracted by an advertisement publicising an 8 per cent discount when paying utility bills through an app.

“Seeing that he could get a discount, the victim messaged the advertiser on Facebook. He also gave his phone number to the suspect,” he said.

Later that evening, the victim received a WhatsApp message from the suspect who told him to download a bill paying application called Direct Pay if he wanted to get the 8 per cent discount on his bills.

Not sensing anything amiss, the victim filled in his personal particulars and bank account details in the app.

Stanley said at about 3pm the next day, the victim’s bank called to tell him that a sum of RM39,700 has been withdrawn from his account.

“The victim realised that the app was a scam and lodged a police report,” he said.

The case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating. — DayakDaily