Single mum loses RM494k to African scam


BINTULU: A single mother lost RM494,000 after she fell prey to an ‘African scam’ between March and May last year.

Sarawak Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) chief Supt Maria Rasid said the victim in her 40s, had met a man known as ‘Li Wei’ via Facebook in mid-February last year.

The suspect invited her to invest in an alleged oil and gas project in Sicily, Italy, to which the victim was intrigued as she was promised that the project would be lucrative.

“The victim was then instructed to make more than 30 money transfer transactions totalling RM494,000 into five local bank accounts under the name of different individuals between March and May last year.

“She realised that she had been deceived when the suspect whom she contacted, often gave various unreasonable reasons and said that the project was experiencing financial problems.

“In addition, the suspect even asked the victim to make additional payments for the project,” she said, adding that the victim lodged a police report on Aug 3 this year.

Maria advised the community not to be easily charmed by beautiful or handsome profile pictures used on social media.

She also reminded social media users to not update statuses that showed they were lonely, looking for a life partner, desperate to have someone, etc as such status would attract the attention of cyber criminals.

“The public are also advised not to be easily deceived by any praise or pleads from social media friends. Do not be too easy in believing any offer like investing in a project, giving gifts, jewellery, foreign currency and so on from social media friends who are said to be from abroad.

“The public needs to be careful if there is any communication involving money because criminals are entering this stage to achieve their main objective, which is to get money easily by cheating,” she stressed.

Maria urged the public to never disclose or provide their banking or financial information to these cyber criminals.

The public can also contact the CCID Scam Response Centre at 03-26101559 and 03-26101599 or the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) Infoline at 013-2111222 (WhatsApp/SMS) to get advice or channel information on online criminal cases.

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