A senior citizen lost RM3.9 million that she inherited from her late husband after being duped by a man posing as a South Korean and who promised to take care of her for the rest of her life.
Penang police chief Shuhaily Zain said the 63-year-old woman became a victim of a love scam after getting to know the man through Instagram last December before continuing to communicate with him on WhatsApp.
“Besides falling for his promises to take care of her, the woman was also influenced by an offer to invest in an oil rig business by the suspect, who also claimed that he worked in a foreign oil rig.
“To convince her, the man frequently sent her photos and videos of him purportedly driving to work or while at work in an oil rig,” he told a press conference today.
He said the man then asked the woman for a sum of money to carry out a business involving an oil rig project that would yield lucrative returns.
Shuhaily said the man also asked her to transfer the money to him in stages to avoid being flagged by the banks, adding that the syndicate behind the man used 19 local bank accounts for the transactions.
He said the woman made 184 transactions, involving sums between RM9,000 and RM50,000, from last December until this month.
She only realised she had been cheated when she found that the pictures sent by the suspect had been edited from someone else’s photos, he added.
“The victim then lodged a police report on March 17. The case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code,” Shuhaily said, adding that the unemployed woman had used the money left by her late husband to give to the suspect.
He advised the public not to easily trust individuals met through social media and not to transfer money to those they had just met.