MCA Public Services and Complaints Department chief Datuk Seri Michael Chong said that loan scams have gotten more convincing of late and duping victims is even easier with messaging apps such as WhatsApp.
Chong said syndicates thee days are becoming even more proficient, forging bank statements and ministry licences.
On Sept 28, a victim who wants only to be known as Lisa, received a WhatsApp message from a Rachel Lee, offering her a loan with easy approval at low interest rates of between 0.6 and 0.8 percent.
Lisa said that Rachel, who claimed to be from a money lending company, Agency Easy Am Finance, agreed to her loan application of RM20,000.
“Rachel first demanded RM650 from me and a week later her colleague named Peter requested another RM900 before my loan can be executed.
“I paid that amount of money and Rachel immediately sent me a transaction slip as proof that she has transferred RM20,000 into my bank account.
“However, when I checked my bank account, I found out there was no money deposited into my account and was told by Peter that my money had been withheld by Bank Negara,” she said.
Lisa then got another phone call from a woman named Wati, claiming to be from Bank Negara. She insisted that Lisa needed to pay another RM3,000 in order for the money to be deposited into her account.
Following that phone call, Lisa felt suspicious and requested a refund and to terminate the loan agreement.
The company then threatened her, demanding for another RM1,500 as cancellation fee charges or she will have to service the loan.
“I lodged a police report on October 17 and I realised that the documents of bank transactions and ministry license they sent to me initially were forged.
“I regret trusting the WhatsApp message and it was through my own greed that I fell for it,” she admitted.
Lisa revealed that she had recently lost her job and saw this as an easy way out.
“This case is not new and this year alone the amount lost to similar scams is close to half a million ringgit.
“We have received 17 similar reports of such cases so far and this is obviously a powerful extortion tactic that the public needs to be aware of.
“The people should not fall for this type of scam and if they smell anything fishy, they should immediately lodge a police report,” Chong told reporters at a press conference at Wisma MCA.