In a cautionary tale that underscores the need for vigilance when interacting with unfamiliar individuals and sharing personal information, an elderly woman fell victim to a devastating 'phone scam' syndicate, losing a staggering RM3.83 million from her hard-earned savings.
According to a report by Sinar Harian, the unfortunate incident unfolded when the 70-year-old woman received a phone call in November 2022 from a seemingly trustworthy source, who posed as an insurance agent.
Little did she know that this was the beginning of a well-orchestrated deception…
Photo via iStock
Selangor Police Chief, Datuk Hussein Omar Khan, shed light on the unfolding tragedy, stating that the suspect initially informed the victim that an insurance claim had been made under her name. However, the victim vehemently denied any knowledge of such a claim. It was at this point that the call was mysteriously transferred to someone impersonating a 'police officer.'
The so-called 'police officer' proceeded to make alarming allegations, accusing the elderly woman of involvement in money laundering activities. Overwhelmed with fear and the prospect of facing legal consequences, the victim reluctantly acquiesced to every directive issued by the cunning syndicate members.
The suspect, manipulating the victim's apprehension, convinced her to open a new bank account and register a phone number linked to online banking. Subsequently, the victim was coerced into surrendering her bank account number, ostensibly for investigative purposes.
As part of the elaborate ruse, the victim was directed to transfer her entire savings into the new account, leaving her with no access to her funds for several months. To further obscure their tracks, she was instructed to delete all transaction receipts related to the account.
It was only after months had passed that the victim realized the extent of the deception when she discovered that her bank account balance had dwindled to a mere RM79.59. A staggering RM3.83 million—her retirement funds, fixed deposits, trust accounts, and even pawned gold—had been surreptitiously siphoned into the fraudulent account.
Hussein Omar Khan issued a stern reminder to the public that legitimate phone calls from reputable companies, agencies, or government departments cannot be transferred from one party to another. The case is now under investigation, with Section 420 of the Penal Code being invoked to bring the perpetrators to justice.
This unfortunate incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of exercising caution when communicating with unfamiliar individuals and sharing personal information. It highlights the need for vigilance in today's digital age, where scams and fraudulent schemes continue to prey on unsuspecting victims.