Used By Permission of  The Star -   Tuesday October 16, 2007
MYT 5:08:30 PM

Conned by phone call from 'High Court'


PENANG: A factory worker was cheated of her life savings of RM25,000 after she was frightened by a telephone call that her bank account was used by drug traffickers. 

Fearing that she would get into trouble, the 51-year-old deposited the money into a bank account purportedly belonging to a Bukit Aman police officer to clear her name. 

The factory worker was at home in Perak Road at about 11.40am on Thursday when she received a telephone call from a woman claiming to be from the Kuala Lumpur High Court. 

Acting state Commercial Crime Department chief Supt Shaharon Anuar Abdul Latif said the woman told the factory worker that her bank account had been used in a drug trafficking case. 

¡°They chatted for a few minutes. A few minutes later, she received a call from a man identifying himself as a police officer. 

¡°She was told that in order to get herself out of ¡®trouble¡¯, she needed to deposit RM25,000 into a bank account. She then went to her bank and withdrew all her money. 

¡°The woman deposited the money into the account given to her and only realised that she had been cheated when she returned home,¡± he said. 

Supt Shaharon Anuar said a few similar cases were reported in the past year. 

He advised those who had received such calls to lodge police reports instead of giving in to their demands. 

On July 30, a housewife, 46, lost RM200,000 in a similar scam. She was told that an Ah Long had used her identity to make some illegal dealings and open numerous bank accounts. 

Supt Shaharon Anuar said these scams were perpetrated by the same syndicate which had made millions of ringgit off their gullible victims. 

"SMSes informing individuals that they have won cash prizes should also be ignored,¡± he said.