October 4, 2022

Beware new phone scam tactic: Fraudsters passing off as relatives in trouble

2 min read

MELAKA: A new twist to the phone scam has emerged in Melaka, and a former top Melaka state official is one of the people who have fallen victim.

The 65-year-old, who wanted anonymity, said he received a call from a woman identifying herself as his niece on Nov 9.

“But the call wasn’t about the usual modus operandi of such scams.

“The caller never asked me to settle outstanding police summonses or money owed to the banks,” he said on Wednesday (Nov 13).

He said the caller mimicked the voice of his niece from Ayer Molek before asking him to deposit cash into a bank account.

The victim said the caller claimed she had a bad cough when he asked her why her voice was somewhat different.

“She called me uncle and told she was in very big trouble with illegal moneylenders and wanted the cash urgently.

“The caller, using a different phone number, also pleaded with him not to tell others first and said she would explain her predicament when she met in person,” he said.

The victim said he was in Tanjung Piai in Johor to be part of campaign for the upcoming by-election when he received the call.

“I thought my niece was in trouble, and I banked in RM3,000 without thinking twice,” he said.

While, driving back to Melaka on the night of Nov 9, the victim decided to call his niece on her landline to see if she had received the money.

“However, my niece told me that she doesn’t own the mobile phone number, and she had never called him for help.

“I tried calling the number but I was blocked,” he said.

The victim then lodged a police report at Bandar Hilir police station on Nov 11.

“I was told that I am not the first victim. There had been a few more cases where the callers mimicked the voices of family members.

“What baffled me is how the fraudster got my personal information, including where my relatives live,” he added.

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