I meant to put this up earlier but procrastination got the better of me.
Until now, I still worry about family and friends who get caught up with scams. This story came out in Singapore's Asia One News.
It is eerily similar to one I know of but circumstances did not permit me to share it.
I wanted to do so in the hope that someone would benefit from it. Everyone should be warned and alerted about the many untrustworthy people that prey on kindness and goodness.
Take the time to read this and share with others. If only one person can be helped, then it is already all worthwhile.
S$10,606 lost to Internet 'lover'
Mon, Nov 22, 2010
New Straits Times
JOHOR BARU - Crime syndicates here are using the cyberspace relationships they have built through emails and social networking sites to cheat.
Police are currently investigating a case where a 47-year-old male lecturer fell victim to a syndicate that used an elaborate scheme popularly known as the "Customs Scam" to cheat him of RM25,500 (S$10,606) last week.
In the case reported at the Taman Pelangi police station on Nov 17, the lecturer said he was deceived into forming a strong relationship with a British woman by the name of Linda Bells.
Having established his trust over two weeks, the woman wrote of an impending holiday to Malaysia and asking him to meet her at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The lecturer said in his report that he went to KLIA, but his Internet friend did not arrive.
Instead, he received a telephone call from a man claiming to be from the Royal Customs and Excise Department.
The man alleged that the British women had been detained by Customs officers at the KLIA for not declaring STG250,000 (S$499,145).
Following several conversations, the man said the matter could be resolved upon the transfer of RM1,500 (S$624), which later ballooned to RM25,500, into a bank account.
The lecturer also alleged that he received telephone calls from people claiming to represent the Royal Malaysian Customs in KLIA as well as the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, saying he could meet his friend at the Sultan Ismail Airport in Senai.
He eventually deposited RM25,500 into the bank account of a Malaysian.
He only suspected something amiss when his "online friend" did not arrive at the Sultan Ismail Airport in Senai as promised the next day.
He then lodged a report with the police.
Johor police chief Datuk Mokhtar Shariff said police had received many similar reports, including the latest email hoax on the late Indonesian President Suharto's alleged gold bullion.
"The public must not be gullible and fall prey to these tricksters. If in doubt, check with the relevant authorities," he said yesterday.
Mokhtar also advised the public to exercise caution when communicating and socialising in cyberspace.
"People must treat any unsolicited friendship through social networking sites and emails with suspicion."
-New Straits Times
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