09 December 2010

Of being in a scam! Part 2

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.

Click here to find out more!
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

Click on link for original location of this news.


Pat said...

It's eerily similar to the one you posted about earlier, isn't it? And even reading something like this would not convince that 'her' that she was part of a scam?

I guess, it's not so much her not believing it, than not 'wanting' to believe it. Because believing it would mean that she has to face the fact, and accept, that someone lied to her, and took her for a ride. And that is what's hard to swallow.

Johan H said...

Lita, thanks for putting this out. You know how I share your concerns about people who put themselves in this despite our cautions. The lesson I learned from it was to find out that not everyone is ready to be helped. As you've also found out, helping hands are never welcome when people see it as an obstacle to their imagined happiness. When it turns into a nightmare, its not just them who are hurt. We too share the hurt for not being able to stop the train wreck, not that we didn't try with all our hearts.

I've come to think of Malaysians as sentimental romantics. We are quick to believe in castles in the sky, knights in shining armour, and shortcuts to happiness. What a strange contrast. While we are survivors, we are almost childlike, ready to believe in anything. And boy do we ultimately pay the price.

But I believe nothing in life is a waste, not even painful epidoes like being cheated, because each one is a priceless lesson. But until we learn it, we will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. Think of it as a process of polishing a diamond. The polisher won't leave us until we are sharp, shiny and bright. Every lesson we learn makes us wiser and shine a little bit brighter. Despite how it feels, pain is not always a bad thing in my opinion.

STEEST said...

My dear Pat

I totally understand how hard it must be to accept being taken for a ride. Especially with matters of the heart.

What needs to be known is that people who love you, will try their darndest to help you.

Very often, we think that we know better and sometimes, we just don't.

That little voice of someone who cares for you shouldn't be ignored.

It was hard for me to have kept pushing and pushing. I felt like such an interfering person. My head told me to stop. My heart asked me to push on.

It was such a struggle till the end.

I have learnt now that we cannot do everything we want, no matter how hard we try.

Thanks for your input, Sweetheart.

You know I appreciate it so much.


STEEST said...


Thank you for sharing my concerns and need to put this out.

Much as I have tried to push it out of my mind, it still remains in one corner of my memory bank. I suppose I need some kind of closure, even if it means that the person involved has to face the harsh reality of being scammed.

Being a sentimental romantic is perfectly fine, I think. The only danger is that there are people out there who just don't appreciate this. Therein lies the "problem" because what began as something good turns out to be the best profile of a person to be hit on.

Such is life. And life goes on.

Thanks for your comment. Really, I appreciate it.


Martin Lee said...

When the truth is eventually revealed, sometimes it is better for us to keep silence of the matter hoping the scammed victim could learn the lesson well and accept to bear with the consequences in his/her own time frame!

We always pay school fees for the things we learn in life. Heeding the advice from good friends or love ones sometimes could save us from paying expensive school fees and pain!

STEEST said...


I wouldn't have gotten involved, if my friend hadn't brought it to my doorstep.

I mean, she wanted me to drive to KLIA at night just to help this "guy" out.

In the end, I hope that she knows that I meant well and that all I said or did was because I cared for her.