ariffjunior for MalayMail – (http://www.mmail.com.my/content/24322-tipu)
KUALA LUMPUR: Two young women have fallen victim to a “scratch and win” scam in separate events, suffering financial losses of RM6,000 and RM5,600 each.
The victims — identified only as Khoo, 19, and Wong, 21 — reported that they were about to head home by train when they were approached by a promoter, at Petaling Street and Pasar Seni.
They were told they could get ‘lucky’ and win substantial prizes if they opened a lucky draw card.
The women agreed out of sympathy for the promoter, who pleaded that he needed the commissions from their participation.
Upon opening the cards, they were told that they were winners, from among 200 people, for the grand prize.
The promoter then took them to the company’s “office” to verify the winning card, where they agreed to pay “taxes” to claim their winnings of a mattress, water purifier, home theatre system and a foot reflexology machine.
Upon returning home, the two women checked out the company on the Internet and realised that it was fraudulent. They were also unable to contact the promoter.
MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong said this problem had been going on for more than 10 years.
His department had dealt with 50 cases last year alone, with an estimated RM248,000 having been swindled.
The victims were duped of sums of between RM1,000 and RM46,000 each.
“We believe that it is just one syndicate in this operation, using different company names as fronts,” Chong said.
Lawyer Datuk Teng Book said the promoters never gave out their real name, which made it difficult to trace them.
“When the authorities investigate, they find that the company is non-existent.”
The problem could be minimised, Teng said, if people educated themselves, listened to media about these stories and not be gullible and greedy.
“If it’s too good to be true, then it’s probably not true.”