Coronavirus is still dominating the news whether its celebs getting infected or the public panic-buying hand sanitisers and face-masks. Unfortunately, the heighten paranoia from Covid-19 is also attracting scammers.
According to The Star, a Malaysian conman scammed a Chinese national woman into giving RM600,000 and her passport to “sell” face masks. It all started when the 43-year old woman, Zhang Lin, came to KL in early-January for a vacation and later made friends with Zhang Zheng Wei.
Zheng Wei, who worked in the events industry, persuaded Zhang Lin to buy face masks to be shipped back to China as news of the Covid-19 situation broke. He said he could arrange for the purchase of the masks. Zhang Lin ordered 1.1 million face masks from him to be delivered to Jiangsu in China.
In her mind, she thought it was a good idea as she could share them with her family, friends and even opt to resell the masks. She transferred 975,100 renminbi (RM594,567) to Zheng Wei and passed him a further RM20,000 in cash.
When the face masks did not arrive on the promised date on 9 February, she tried questioning Zheng Wei but instead, he gave excuses and even threatened to kill her if she took the matter public.
Zhang Lin has since lodged a police report and is working together with the Chinese Embassy and MCA Public Services and Complaints Department’s lawyer, James Ee. MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head, Datuk Seri Michael Chong said they would be liaising with the police authorities on the matter.
“With this Covid-19 situation, everyone must remember not to panic,” he said, adding that information and reports on social media should not fuel panic.
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