Senior citizen loses RM4.3m to ‘US geologist’ in love scam

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When a government pensioner started chatting with a geologist who lives in the United States on Facebook in December last year, she was intrigued.

Six months down the road, the man whom the 66-year-old assumed was offering true love instead swindled her life savings of RM4.3 million in a “devastating” love scam.

The incident unfolded when the victim began speaking to the man, who claimed to be a geologist attached to an oil and gas company in the United States, last year.

Pahang police chief Datuk Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said the duo met on Facebook and the suspect told the victim that he lives in the United States.

“The suspect had sweet-talked and tricked the victim to transfer money to help him sort out several ‘payments’ in the United States including settling debts, outstanding work contracts, salaries and medical fees.

NST

“The man created sympathy by informing the victim that his father died due to debts and he had to pay the legal fees to sort out his father’s property issues. The victim paid the alleged lawyer’s fees,” he said, adding the fraudster had teamed up with two others to cheat the victim.

Ramli said investigations revealed the woman ended up making 190 transactions totalling RM4.3 million into various bank accounts provided by the suspects between Dec 2 and May 31 last year.

He said the victim, who realised that she had been cheated, lodged a police report yesterday.

Ramli cautioned the public to stay vigilant and be extra careful when transferring cash into bank accounts belonging to strangers saying in the recent case, the victim made 190 transactions into an unknown account without realising that she had been cheated.

He said the case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating, which provides for a maximum jail term of 10 years and whipping, and a fine if convicted. – NST