Woman conned of life savings after she was deceived into believing a monk could bring her monetary luck.
A housewife claimed to have incurred losses amounting to RM240,000 after being duped in a scam involving a non-existent Thai “monk” who was said to be able to “provide” numbers to win lotteries.
The 26-year-old victim, who wanted to be identified only as Wong, said she found out about the “monk” and his services via a pamphlet distributed to her house in August 2015 before contacting the given number.
“A man who identified himself as Seng Shu told me that I have the luck of winning the grand prize of RM960,000 in cash by purchasing lottery. However, I needed to bank-in RM20 to an account under the name of ‘Suvitta Agarbathi Dharma’ in order to get the number.
“Two days later, I received a four-digit (4D) number and an amulet via a courier. I was also told to burn the amulet and to contact a person called ‘Ah Dong’ from Thailand,” she told a press conference at the Gerakan Public Service and Complaints Bureau office here yesterday.
Subsequently, Wong said she contacted “Ah Dong”, who claimed to be an assistant to the “monk”, and was told to buy the lottery using another number which happens to be the registration number of her motorcycle.
“However, the number failed to strike the jackpot. I contacted Ah Dong again and he told me to bank-in RM360 to his account if I want to win,” she said, adding that she received another number a week later but the digits had strike before.
Wong said she had once again contacted the man and was instructed to transfer more money but never won any lottery.
“Such a situation had been going on for 32 times and I had given RM240,000 in total,” she said, adding that she had been cheated when all her savings had depleted.
Subsequently, Wong, who had last contacted the man in January last year, lodged a police report at the Jenjarom police station on Apr 30 the same year.
The woman said she had borrowed RM220,000 from her parents and an aunt, including RM40,000 from her mother’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) account.
The syndicate, masquerading behind the “monk” in Thailand, had been operating in Rantau Panjang, Kelantan since 2014, she added.
Meanwhile, Gerakan Public Service and Complaints Bureau deputy chief Ben Liew Pok Boon said the case recorded the biggest loss ever received by the bureau for this year.
“We have cross-checked with Bank Negara Malaysia over the bank account and found that the corporate account had been closed in February.
“Our monitoring revealed that such lottery scams are not only active in the Klang Valley but also in other states such as Penang and Perak,” he said, adding that the bureau would be cooperating with the Royal Malaysia Police to assist in the investigation.