Graduate loses scholarship money to Macau Scam, four others also fall victim

KUCHING: A university graduate here lost RM110,000 in personal and scholarship funds when he fell victim a Macau Scam on Monday.

This was revealed by Sarawak Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) chief Supt Mustafa Kamal Gani Abdullah, who said the scam unfolded when the victim received a phone call from someone claiming to be an officer from a court in Melaka.

“The 24-year-old was told that a credit card had been issued under his name and that a sum of RM8,700 had been charged to the card over the past six months.

“The victim believed what was told to him as his house had previously been broken into during which his Mykad was stolen,” said Mustafa Kamal in a statement yesterday.

According to him, the victim had his call ‘transferred’ to a person who introduced himself as ‘Sergeant Lim’.

He so-called policeman told the victim that a bank account had also been registered under his name, and that the account had been used for money laundering purposes connected to a drug case.

Mustafa Kamal said the caller then questioned the victim about his joint account, which held a sum of RM100,000, to which the latter revealed that it was his scholarship money.

“The caller then ‘advised’ the victim to transfer the money into four different accounts pending an investigation into his alleged case. He did as he was instructed, and transferred the scholarship money as well as RM10,000 of his own money,” he said.

He added the victim only realised he had fallen victim to a scam when he informed his mother and younger brother about what he had done, and was immediately told by them to lodge a police report.

Meanwhile, the CCID chief revealed that a housewife here reported the loss of RM30,000 in a similar phone scam believed to be perpetrated by the same syndicate.

He said the incident, which also happened on Monday, occurred when the 36-year-old answered a call from a woman claiming to from a court in Kuching.

The housewife was told that a company had been registered under name in Penang, and that the company had an outstanding Goods and Services (GST) payment of RM96,800.

“The phone call was then ‘transferred’ to the Pulau Pinang police Headquarters where a man, who also identified himself as ‘Sergeant Lim’, accused the housewife of being a member of a criminal gang involved in drugs and money laundering.

“Upon the man’s instruction, the housewife made three transactions of RM9,999 each to an account number provided to her,” he said, adding she lodged a report the same day after realising she had been duped.

Meanwhile, Mustafa Kamal said three others – a businessman in Sibu, as well as a chef and female engineer in Miri – also became Macau Scam victims this week.

He said the 27-year-old businessman reported the loss of RM6,920; the 21-year-old chef, RM3,020; and the 28-year-old engineer, RM29,997.

“Six other individuals also reported being targeted by these scammers, but did not fall victim and avoided losing any money,” he added.