KUALA LUMPUR: A syndicate is using an online application to scam people of millions of ringgit by offering dubious e-rewards while throwing around the names of prominent individuals like royalty and religious leaders to dupe its victims.
Malaysian International Humanitarian Organisation (MHO) secretary-general Hishamuddin Hashim said he learned that 80 victims had lodged police reports after they lost an estimated RM4.6 million.
“(This syndicate) is using the names of royalty, high-ranking police officers and famous preachers,” he told a press conference outside the Sentul police headquarters, joined by 40 victims of the syndicate, today.
Hishamuddin said the application promised user points for each purchase or service bought on the platform.
However, after money is spent through the app, the users are unable to redeem the rewards as the software will suddenly stop working.
A 40-year-old victim who wanted to be known only as Rafiq said the syndicate assured the users the application was shariah-compliant.
He claimed there were nearly 900,000 registered users of the app, with some willing to spend savings meant for their children to redeem points.
“I tried to get an explanation from the application’s developer, but their response was provocative,” said the civil servant.
Another victim, Mandy, said she started using the app three years ago but had lost nearly RM30,000.
“I thought I would be able to save money through the app, but when Chinese New Year came, they gave various excuses when I tried to redeem my money on the app,” said the 40-year-old.
Malaysia Community Crime Care (MCCC) president Musa Hassan urged the authorities to investigate the cases.
The former inspector-general of police called on the police’s commercial crime investigation department to go after those behind the app.