55-year-old woman says she gave RM48,750 to man she met on Facebook
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 11:38
KUALA LUMPUR: A 55-year-old woman lost all of her savings amounting to RM48,750 when she became a victim of an online scam after befriending an African man through social networking website Facebook since February.
The retired clerk, who declined to be named, said she and the perpetrator became instant friends due to his friendly and caring nature.
"After awhile, we exchanged phone numbers and talked over the phone, and regularly kept in touch via the Internet. I treated our relationship as a good friendship," she said.
Several weeks later, the man asked her to lend him some money as a "favour".
"He asked for RM2,300, apparently to pay his friend for a construction investment he was involved in. He said he would pay me back as soon as he gets his income from another business," she said.
She banked the amount into a bank here on Feb 24.
"He instructed me to deposit the money in his friend's account here as the investment for the construction was taking place in KL," she said.
"After that, we continued talking to each other until he asked me for more money, saying there was a problem with the construction and more money was needed."
The victim said although the man was "very persuasive", he was also "convincing".
She said she gave him RM48,750 in four other transactions from Feb 24 to April 10.
All the money was wired to two different local bank accounts.
The victim said she finally called it quits when he asked for another RM18,000.
"I do regret trusting this man but I had no choice as he started threatening me, saying he wouldn't pay me back if I don't help to financially support him. He kept saying he would be able to repay me once the construction was completed," she said.
Finally, after telling her daughter about the incident, the victim lodged a report at Bandar Kinrara police station in Puchong on April 15.
Her case has since been transferred to Brickfields police as the banks involved were under their jurisdiction.
Brickfields police chief ACP Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid confirmed the report lodged. He said investigation is underway to determine the suspect involved.
"We have obtained the local bank account numbers and are trying to trace its owner. Since it's a bank matter, there are several policies involved."
Wan Abdul Bari said police are expected to make arrests once they identify the account holders.
The case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.
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