A distressing incident has come to light as an elderly woman fell victim to a 'phone scam' perpetrated by a syndicate posing as police officers, resulting in a loss of RM3.83 million.
According to Datuk Hussein Omar Khan, the Chief of Police in Selangor, the 70-year-old woman received a call from a suspect in November 2022, who claimed to be an insurance agent.
The suspect alleged that insurance claims had been made in the victim's name, a claim vehemently denied by the victim. However, the situation took a sinister turn when the call was transferred to an individual impersonating a police officer.
This impersonator went on to accuse the victim of involvement in money laundering activities, instilling fear in her of imminent arrest by the authorities. In her apprehension, the victim unquestioningly complied with every instruction provided by the syndicate members.
The suspect manipulated the victim into opening a new bank account and registering a phone number, ostensibly for online banking transactions. Subsequently, the victim was coerced into disclosing her account number under the pretext of an ongoing investigation.
Compelled by the illusion of cooperation, the victim was instructed to transfer all her funds into the newly created account. Furthermore, she was prohibited from accessing this account for several months and was directed to delete all transaction receipts reflecting money deposits.
It wasn't until a routine check on Wednesday that the victim realized the extent of the deception. Her bank account balance had dwindled to a meager RM79.59, a shocking revelation of her massive loss, which included retirement funds, fixed deposits, trust accounts, and pawned gold: all sneakily transferred to the new account.
Hussein took the opportunity to caution the public, emphasizing that no legitimate company, agency, or government department has the authority to transfer money from one party to another via phone calls. Consequently, the authorities are actively investigating the case under Section 420 of the Penal Code, seeking to bring the perpetrators of this elaborate phone scam to justice.
Source: Sinar Harian