A single mother lost RM494,000 when she was duped by the “African Scam” syndicate through a man she knew on the social networking site Facebook, since mid-February.
The man, known as Li Wei, was said to have invited the victim, in her late 40’s, to invest in an oil and gas project in Sicily, Italy, that promised lucrative returns.
Sarawak police contingent headquarters’ Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief, Supt Maria Rasid, in a statement, said that the victim, attracted by the offer, then made more than 30 transactions to transfer money totalling RM494,000 to five local bank accounts in the names of different individuals between March and May.
“The victim only realised that she had been duped when the suspect often gave various unreasonable excuses and said that the project had financial problems when asked.
The victim then lodged a police report in Bintulu on August 3.
Maria reminded the public not to be easily fooled by beautiful or handsome profile pictures used on social sites and not to upload statuses that show they are lonely, looking for a life partner, desperate to have someone or something similar, as such status would attract the attention of cybercriminals.
They are also advised not to be easily taken in by any praise or persuasion from social media friends, or to believe in any offer such as investing in a project, receiving gifts, jewellery, foreign currency, and so on from social media friends who are said to be from abroad.
“The public needs to be more careful if there is any communication involving money because criminals are determined to achieve their main objective, which is to get easy money by deceiving.
“Therefore, never disclose or provide your banking or financial information to anyone,” Maria added. ― Bernama