‘Scratch and win’ scammers targeting elderly

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PETALING JAYA, April 28 — A group of six con artists, who targeted elderly victims and cheated them using “scratch and win” gimmicks, were nabbed by police.

The gang, comprising three men and three women, is believed to have made at least RM350,000 from more than five victims over the past three weeks in Bentong, Negri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur.

Bentong police chief Supt Mansor Mohd Nor said police first received a report on April 4 from a woman, aged 62, who said she was approached by the suspects at her home and was influenced into taking part in a “scratch and win” contest.

The woman was told she had won the contest and her prize would be sent to her. However, she was told she would have to make a payment first.

“The woman, accompanied by the suspects, withdrew RM17,000 and handed it to them. When she did not receive the prize in the following days, she realised she had been conned,” he said.

Following the report, police initiated investigations and while they are in the midst of tracking the gang, Bentong police received another two similar reports.

“One case involved a 73-year-old man, who was approached by the suspects as he was coming out of a Tabung Haji office in Bentong after withdrawing some money. He had paid the suspects RM89,000 for his “prize”.

“Another victim, aged 71, was similarly conned of RM111,000,” said Mansor.

Following the three reports, police managed to track down and identified the suspects based on the descriptions the victims gave on the luxury vehicles they used.

A police team immediately nabbed all six suspects, aged between 23 and 45, on Friday.

“We also found vouchers, believed to be used in their scams, a company stamp and documents in one of the cars,” Mansor said.

The suspects operated by offering victims the vouchers for free and subsequently informed them that they had won a prize, which would be delivered to them through courier services.

He said the suspects approached their victims in groups of two or three before telling their victims they have to fork out extra money if they wanted to win a better prize.

Some victims were brought to a conference room at a hotel to be given a briefing on how to collect a “bigger prize”.

The victims would then be accompanied by the suspects to a bank to make a withdrawal, said Mansor.

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