PETALING JAYA, Oct 17 — Tailor Yap Yoon Fong had put aside money for the past two decades to buy her dream apartment.
Instead, the 51-year-old dressmaker lost RM20,000 after she fell victim to a scam allegedly run by a woman property agent.
“I saved that money for many years and planned to buy a house. I hope to get back my savings but I know that is a lost cause now,” she said yesterday after she sought the help of the MCA Public Services and Complaints Department.
The money was supposed to be a deposit for a low-cost apartment in Kepong. Yap is among 18 individuals claiming to have been cheated by the 44-year-old woman. Their total loss amounts to RM544,000.
Salesman Lim Wei Shin, 25, said he first made contact with the woman on June 26 through a friend and she promised him a RM150,000 unit for only RM40,000.
“She brought us to the building but we were not allowed to enter as she said it was not ready for viewing. She asked me to bank in RM20,000 as advance payment to reserve the property,” he claimed.
He deposited the money into an account which allegedly belonged to a company the woman worked for.
After not hearing from her for over a month, Lim said he drove to the apartment to speak to the developer but was told that they had never heard of the suspect.
He also contacted the company she claimed to be working for but was informed she had resigned a year ago after working for only two months.
According to Lim, he also did a background check with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia, which told him the suspect was not a registered property agent.
“I made a police report together with 17 other individuals, who suffered the same predicament, on Aug 22. We all knew each other as she had approached family members or mutual friends,” he said.
Boutique owner Chan Yee Mui, 50, said her four children deposited money for four units worth a total of RM80,000.
“At first, she seemed genuine but sadly we all fell in the trap of something that was too good to be true. My family is hurting as we are not rich and we worked hard for the money,” she said.
“Somehow I feel we won’t get it back.”
MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong urged those planning to buy low-cost flats to go through the proper channels such as Kuala Lumpur City Hall.
Heo said this could be the tip of the iceberg as many more could have been cheated by the woman.
Sentul OCPD ACP R. Munusamy said police were looking for the suspect.