A 12-year-old boy gave his father a shock when he transferred an eye-watering RM25,400 to scammers for a non-existent iPhone deal in a single day last week.
The father discovered the cash missing from his bank account after realising several online banking transactions were made to unknown people from his mobile device.
The incident on April 28 occurred when the Year Six pupil, who was at home in Maran around noon, spotted an Instagram advertisement offering the iPhone 11 Pro at a jaw-dropping price of RM500.
The boy contacted the seller using his own mobile phone and was all smiles as he was offered the iPhone at only RM400.
State Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Superintendent Mohd Wazir Mohd Yusof said at about 5.15pm, the boy used his father’s smartphone to transfer RM400 into an account number provided by the bogus handphone agent.
“The boy transferred the cash using his father’s online banking application to one ‘Sabrina’ without his father’s knowledge. When the boy asked the seller when he will receive the device, the caller told him to contact another number.
“The boy was told to transfer another RM1,350 to activate his iPhone warranty card, to which he agreed. The syndicate member continued to coax the boy for more cash and assured him the device will reach him soon,” he said.
Wazir said the boy who assumed the deal was genuine continued to make another five online transactions amounting to RM23,650 to an account number provided by the syndicate.
“When the boy’s father checked his mobile banking application several hours later, he saw several thousands of ringgit missing. He confronted his son before they lodged a police report,” he said.
Wazir said the case was being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating, which carries a maximum jail term of 10 years and whipping, and a fine if convicted.
Meanwhile, a source with knowledge of the case said the boy told policemen that he had seen YouTube on how to use the mobile banking application to transfer the cash.
“The boy might have been watching his father using the banking application and was familiar with the password. It remains unclear if the TAC (Transaction Authorisation Code) or OTP (One Time Pin) had been deactivated, or the boy managed to retrieve it by learning through YouTube.
“Since the boy has made calls to the syndicate members twice, we are checking if they have guided him on how to make the transfers and obtain the security codes.
“The seven transfers were done within a few hours,” he said, advising adults not to allow young children to watch them make online purchases. – NST