Another day, another cold-hearted scam – this one occurring in the Sarawak town of Sibu, where a young female auditor was tricked into giving RM53,000 (US13,100) to help a new-found friend she had made online.
Having originally met an individual calling themselves Fred Hutton on Facebook last month, the man later asked the woman to meet in person, and become acquainted with her family. The victim thought this was a strange request as the two had only been speaking since February 11, and were merely friends, so she denied him his request.
On March 11, the victim received a phone call from a woman claiming to be a KLIA customs officer named Lenni, telling her that her friend Fred had been caught in the airport with undeclared money and jewels.
Believing that her social media friend was in great danger, she transferred RM24,300 (US$6,000) in four transactions into an account given by the “customs officer.”
However, the very next the victim received another call from Lenni, telling her that officers needed a lot more money to release Fred. Another transfer was made, this time to the tune of nearly RM30,000 (US$7,250).
Finally, the woman received a third call from Lenni, this time saying that Fred had been beaten up, was injured, and needed more money. Sadly, at this point the victim had no more money to give, and began to suspect that something was awry.
She contacted Sibu police, who are now investigating the matter under Section 420 of the Penal Code for fraud.