In applying for an RM1 million loan through a non-existent scheme advertised on Facebook, a Sabah woman ended up RM103,000 poorer.
Initially, the 38-year-old accountant wanted to take a loan of RM50,000 and paid RM648 as a processing fee to the loan company on Sept 15.
According to district police chief Assistant Commissioner M Chandra, syndicates of such schemes often used social media to lure victims, offering them easy loans with low interest.
“All victims need to do is just provide details of their identity card, bank account, and Employees Provident Fund statement. The modus operandi is to convince the borrowers that their application has been approved before advising them to pay a processing fee in order to process the loan.
“That’s the catch. The accountant was duped into believing that her application was approved and because she trusted the company, she somehow applied for more, up to RM1 million.
“She paid RM103,000 over 12 transactions as processing fees. She paid the supposed fees in a day before realising she has fallen prey to a scam,” Chandra said at a press conference today.
He added that cases of non-existence loan scams have doubled.
Since last year, police have arrested seven people, four of whom were charged in court.
As for the Macau scam, 11 people duped of some RM728,904 have lodged police reports as of August this year compared to three cases with RM21,000 losses last year.
These two scams and the African fraud, which involved victims being courted before they are conned, are the three popular scamming techniques.
Despite numerous police advice and warnings, he said professional and educated individuals were still falling prey to telephone and online scams.
“The latest report we received (with regards to Macau scam) involved a 64-year-old woman, who lost RM280,000 in Jun 22,” Chandra said.
In the incident, Chandra said the woman received a phone call, alerting her that her credit card had been used to purchase RM4,000 worth of diamond jewellery.
As per the modus operandi, the caller gave a bogus bank contact number for the victim to verify the alleged misuse of her credit card.
“The phony bank officer will verify the claim and provide another number of a supposedly Bank Negara officer, who will then advise victims to transfer their money to other accounts provided by the officer.
“In the latest case, the 64-year-old woman transferred RM280,000 to six accounts within two days before lodging a police report after realising she was duped,” Chandra said.
He advised the people not to resort to illegal loan schemes and to personally contact their bank or inform family members if they suspect something is amiss when they receive unknown calls.