KUALA TERENGGANU: A retiree incurred losses amounting to almost RM180,000 after falling victim to a ‘parcel scam’ syndicate he got acquainted with, via social media.
Initial police investigations revealed that although the 59-year-old victim was befriended by who he believed was a British woman, the syndicate was masterminded by a group of Africans.
The police suspect that the group had worked closely with locals to obtain the victim’s personal details to fleece him of the amount.
Terengganu Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Superintendent Koh Ah Tiam said early last month, the victim had befriended a woman who claimed to be British, via Facebook.
He said the woman had sought assistance from the victim on the pretext of buying a house, adding that the victim agreed to help.
“The victim, who acted as a ‘middle-man’, managed to find a house in Damansara, Kuala Lumpur and the woman had agreed to buy it.
“As a token of appreciation, the woman said she wanted to give a present and cash to the victim for helping her to buy the house,” he told reporters here today.
A few days later, however, the victim received a call from a courier company and the Customs Department, demanding that he settle a payment, including customs tax, to the tune of almost RM180,000.
Koh said the victim then wired seven transactions between June 17 and 23, during which he had also received several threatening calls for the money.
“During that period, the victim had paid almost RM180,000 but he received neither the gift nor the cash as promised, until today,” he said, adding that the victim lodged a police report yesterday after realising he had been cheated.