4 August 2020, Tuesday | 11:02am

Optometrist loses RM24,000 to fake Instagram 'friends'


KUANTAN: A 38-year old optometrist became RM24,000 poorer after falling victim to a parcel scam syndicate last week.

It began when she befriended two men who claimed to be an American and a British on social media platform Instagram. Pahang Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Superintendent Mohd Wazir Mohd Yusof said on Nov 15, the victim had “followed” the “American” on Instagram and began a relationship.

"The man said he wanted to give her a present as a sign of gratitude for their friendship and that he would be posting the item to her. "On Dec 6, the victim received a call from a person claiming to be a representative from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and was informed that the item had arrived.

"She was asked to make payments amounting to RM20,500," he said. Wazir said the victim made a series of payments to the given bank account between Dec 6 and Dec 7. The victim, he said, was also befriending an individual claiming to be from the United Kingdom at the same time.

"Conveniently, the British man also wanted to send her a gift. Again, she was also asked to make payments to allow her to receive a parcel from the authorities," he said. On Dec 6, he said the victim transferred RM3,500 to a personal bank account provided by a person claiming to be a customs officer.

He said the victim was asked to make more payments after that. "The victim then felt cheated and went to the nearest police station to lodge a police report. Wazir said the woman was a victim of a parcel scam syndicate and she was cheated into making payments for non-existing gifts.

The case was being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating, which provides a maximum jail term of 10 years and canning, as well as a fine, if found guilty. Wazir said this was just one of the 23 scam cases reported on Tuesday statewide.

Source: New Straits Times

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