Malaysian woman cheated of S$29,000 in phone scam

KLANG, SELANGOR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Scammers tricked a Malaysian woman out of RM90,000 (S$29,600) by telling her over the phone that she was involved in a money-laundering scheme.

South Klang district police chief Shamsul Amar Ramli said the victim received a call on Thursday (Nov 30) - saying that she had defaulted on her loan - from a man claiming to be a bank executive.

"When she denied that she had any loans with the bank, the man said he would transfer the call to the Perak police headquarters where she was told that her details had been used to apply for a bank loan," he said.

The caller also asked the victim to read out her identification number before telling her that she was on the police wanted list for money laundering.

The "inspector" intensified her fear by claiming that she could be detained by police for 45 days if she did not cooperate.

Frightened, the woman surrendered details such as her online banking login and company's bank details.

The "inspector" also told the woman that she had to surrender her money to be audited and assured her that the funds would be returned after the investigation.

She complied with the request and soon received a Transaction Authorisation Code (TAC) on her mobile phone which he made her read out.

"This happened about nine times and the 'inspector' assured her that her money would be returned at about 4pm on Dec 1," he said. The woman's occupation or age was not given.

Assistant Commissioner Shamsul said the woman later told her neighbour, who was attached to the South Klang police district headquarters, about the call.

"Her neighbour grew suspicious and told her that she might have been a victim of an elaborate scam," he said.

The woman's worst fears were confirmed when her bank called that she had performed nine bank transfer transactions to an unknown account.