With everything increasing in price these days (
inflation), we tend to seize any opportunity to save some cash. School scholarships are a precious form of financial aid because, unlike student loans, they do not have to be repaid but it seems like scammers have found a way to target desperate students too.
According to The Star, a 19-year-old Malaysian was conned into a scholarship scam syndicate and blackmailed by the scammers with nude photographs and video clips.
It all started when the teen was offered a scholarship to further her studies by a woman who she knows on social media on 9 Sept.
As part of the deal, the victim was told to provide certain documents and made to do a “physical medical check-up” online. She was reluctant at first but coaxed by the woman as she said that she would be passing up a substantial amount of money.
The victim gave in and uploaded pictures of herself clothed and unclothed, as well as a video, for the “check-up”. Besides that, she also paid RM600 to the woman for a “processing fee”.
Soon after, a man contacted the victim and threatened to circulate the photographs and video if she did not transfer RM1,000 into a bank account.
The teen then immediately lodged a police report on 11 Sept, according to Batu Pahat OCPD Asst Comm Ismail Dollah.
“On Monday (Sept 12), we arrested a man in his 30s and seized his mobile phone and ATM card to assist in investigations,” he said, adding that police have managed to solve at least two other similar cases.
ACP Ismail advised the public to be careful and not be swayed by offers of scholarships or jobs which require them to carry out inappropriate actions online.
Just earlier this month, a Malaysian man died after being trafficked to Myanmar and was forced to work for a syndicate after falling for a job scam.