JEMPOL: It was a case of “fool me twice…” for a 52-year-old businesswoman here after she lost more than RM225,000 in an online loan scam.
Jempol OCPDsaid on Thursday (Dec 23) the victim had been scammed twice by the same suspects over a period of 18 months.
According to Supt Hoo, the victim decided to apply for a RM250,000 loan as her business had run into problems.
“She first applied for the loan online in June last year and was asked by two suspects who identified themselves as ‘Gary Kuan’ and ‘Alex Ooi’ to make an upfront payment of more than RM80,000.
“When she did not get the loan, she lodged a police report,” he said, adding that the victim never met the suspects in person.
He said that in July last year, the same suspects contacted her again and said she had to pay a cancellation fee if she did not wish to apply for the loan.
The victim continued to deposit money into several accounts from August last year until this month, he added.
“The suspects promised that the money would be returned to her after the case was closed.
“However, that did not happen,” he said.
Supt Hoo said the suspects even had the audacity to ask the victim to bank in a final payment of RM4,500 but the victim refused.
Supt Hoo said checks showed that all the accounts used by the suspects had been blacklisted as these had been used for similar crimes since August last year.
“I am surprised people believe such schemes when they never meet the representative from the so-called company offering the loan in person.
“There are also no supporting documents from the other party to prove that this is not a scam,” he said.
Supt Hoo added that anyone applying for such loans should never bank in any money to process the application.
It should be a warning sign that the accounts used in such scams belong to individuals and not companies, he suggested.
He expressed regret that people are still getting cheated even though police have regularly shared reports of such scams with the media.
Supt Hoo said the public can also verify offers they receive on social media with the police, at semakmule.rmp.gov.my, by calling the Commercial Crime Investigation Department infoline 013-2111222 or the Scam Response Centre at 03-26101559.
The case is being probed under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating, which carries a jail term of between one and 10 years, whipping and a fine, upon conviction.