Housewife loses RM2,400 in shandy scam

Tiong and Josephine Lau showing the victim's police report.

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SIBU, Jan 22: A housewife here has claimed that she lost RM2,400 in an online scam that involved the purchase of cartons of shandy — a mixed drink of beer and lemonade.

The 46-year-old victim, who wanted to be identified only as Lau, said today at a press conference at the Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party (Aspirasi) service centre that she was browsing her Facebook account on Jan 18 when she saw an advertisement selling the drink.

“I contacted the advertiser through Messenger. He then gave me his phone number for easier communication,” she said.

She was told that the price offered was cheaper at around RM36 to RM39 per carton, whereas supermarkets sell it at RM46.

“I was told that the drink will arrive on Jan 24. Before I made any payment, I requested the tracking number, and he promised to send it to me,” she added.

She went to the bank at 1.30pm and transferred RM700 to the account number provided.

The suspect then asked her whether her family members also wanted to buy the drink. Her friend was interested and was asked to do an online transfer of RM1,700 at 2.30pm to another account number given by the suspect.

“As I did not suspect anything, I helped my friend to pay first. Later, when I again asked for the tracking number, he gave an excuse saying that his worker had forgotten to take a picture of the tracking number as they had many customers to attend to. He told me not to worry and to trust him as the drink will arrive on January 24,” she recalled.

When she tried to contact the suspect at 9.30pm, she was shocked to find that he had blocked her. She could also no longer call him as the line was dead.

“I lodged a police report the next day. I also do not want other people to fall victim to similar scams,” she said.

Deputy chairman of Aspirasi, Simon Tiong, advised the public to be extra careful when buying things online.

“Make sure you know the seller. If they are total strangers, don’t deal with them,” he advised.

Tiong said he would be writing to the police tomorrow on the outcome of their investigation.

He also urged the public to make a police report if they feel that they have been scammed.

Also present at the press conference was Aspirasi Women’s Wing chief Josephine Lau. — DayakDaily