GEORGE TOWN, March 21 — A 63-year-old woman who thought she got a second chance at love ended up losing RM3.9 million to a love scam syndicate.
The widow, who met a man posing as a South Korean on social media last December, had made 184 transactions transferring various sums totalling to RM3.9 million to the man before she realised that she was scammed.
Penang police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said the woman realised she was scammed after she found out the photos the man sent her were edited using another individual’s photo.
"She lodged a police report on March 17 after she realised she was scammed,” he said in a press conference today.
He said the victim met the suspect on Instagram in December last year and they had continued to chat through WhatsApp.
He said the unemployed woman transferred the money she inherited from her late husband who was a businessman.
"She transferred small sums of between RM9,000 and RM50,000 between December last year and March this year,” he said.
He said the suspect had asked her to transfer small sums to him in stages to avoid being flagged by the banks.
He said the suspect had asked the victim to invest in an oil rig business and had even sent her photos, purportedly of him, driving to work or while at work in an oil rig.
He said the suspect had also promised the victim that he will take care of her for the rest of her life to compel her to transfer money to him.
"We are now tracing the suspect and we believe that the modus operandi in this case is often used by Nigerian scammers to con women on social media,” he said.
He advised the public to be careful when using social media so as not to fall victim to such syndicates.
The case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.