A senior citizen from Johor Baru lost more than RM3.8 million ringgit to a scam syndicate that promised him an assistance grant from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), New Straits Times reported.
Johor Commercial Crime Investigation Department Chief Asst Comm Mohd Salleh Abdullah said it started in July of last year when the victim met the suspect known as Freddie Khoo on Facebook.
Freddie Khoo offered an IMF assistance grant worth US$150,00 to the victim, who then contacted the suspect through WhatsApp.
“The victim, 74, was told that he had to make an advance payment before he could receive the grant. He then made the first payment of RM12,800,” Mohd Salleh said in a statement.
The suspect then told the victim that the grant has been increased to US$900,000, so the victim had to pay more if he were to secure the grant.
“Between July and December 2020, the victim made a total of 64 transactions to 10 local bank accounts totalling RM3,811,300,” said Mohd Salleh.
He said the suspect then told the victim the assistance grant offer has expired and he had to make a new application.
“The victim then realised he had been duped because he did not get the grant and lodged a report at the Tampoi police station. An investigation paper has been opened under Section 420 of the Penal Code,” he said.
Mohd Salleh reminded the public to not be easily deceived by people they just recently met, especially on social media, which is a big swimming pool for scammers.
“The public should always be careful by making background checks on the individuals they are dealing with, and to check with the relevant authorities like Bank Negara Malaysia on the existence of any assistance grant.”