KEPALA BATAS (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Two people lost RM41,920 (S$13,750) in a scam when they tried to buy 700 boxes of face masks online.
The officer in charge of Seberang Prai Utara district in Penang state, Assistant Commissioner Noorzainy Mohd Noor said in both cases, the victims saw an advertisement on Facebook for the sale of face masks.
"Since the demand for face masks is high, both decided to buy it online for their own use and also for their friends," he said in a statement on Sunday (April 12).
ACP Noorzainy said the first victim, a 36-year-old woman, ordered 610 boxes worth RM39,020 while the second victim, a male, also 36, ordered 90 boxes for RM2,900.
He said both victims made transactions into a account given by the suspect in stages and were told that they would receive the face masks in three to seven days.
ACP Noorzainy said initial investigations found that the syndicate was operated by a local.
"Both victims realised they were cheated after they saw several comments by Facebook users saying that the purchased face masks never arrived.
"The victims also tried to contact the suspect but failed," he said.
He said both victims lodged police reports after realising that they had become victims of a scam.
The case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.
ACP Noorzainy said so far eight cases of face mask scams are currently being investigated in Seberang Prai Utara, with accumulated losses totalling RM52,585.