Saturday, March 19, 2011

72-year-old woman loses life savings to scam

KUALA LUMPUR: A 72-year-old retired civil servant, who thought she was close to becoming a millionaire, instead lost her life savings to a 4-digit scam.
The woman, who only wanted to be identified as Ng, said she received a flyer in her letterbox in Klang last November with the photo of a monk, who provided help to those with financial, family and matchmaking problems.
“I was devastated and even thought about killing myself when I realised there was no more money in my bank account,” she said at a press conference yesterday organised by MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong.
She lost RM136,292 intended for her retirement to a tok guru (master), who claimed to have the power to bestow good fortune.
Ng said she called up the handphone number provided on the flyer and was told by a man known as Mr Lee that she had won RM1.5mil in the lottery that was bought and claimed on her behalf.
“He sent me a laminated copy as proof. However, to get the money, I had to send money for prayers to protect the winning ticket,” she added.
Ng said she transferred all her savings in 15 transactions to a man’s account between last November and January this year.
She added she did not tell anyone about the matter until she received another call asking for RM52,000, which was government tax for the money that she had won.
She said she only realised what she had done when she wanted to borrow money from her niece, who scolded her and took her to the police station.
Chong said he had received reports of 16 similar cases and had exposed such scams through the media at least 10 times since 2008.
Chong added that he would lodge a complaint with Deputy Home Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong about such predators placing advertisement on flyers or magazines to con the public.
He said most of the victims were senior citizens who lost their life savings, while some add on to their problems by borrowing money from illegal moneylenders. - theStarOnline

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