Woman Loses Over $366,000 Due to Facebook Scam

scamCompassion is all well and good, but it’s deadly to have too much of it and too little common sense. One woman from Shah Alam, Malaysia, was scammed of over RM1.1 mil, or $366,000, after she fell for the con artist’s sob stories on Facebook. Police have been able to apprehend six likely suspects but were unable to recover most of the woman’s money.

Blurring the lines of Compassion and Naivete

Con artists often appeal to a person’s sense of compassion in order to mulch some money off of him or her. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, and as long as people don’t realize that there are ways to show compassion that don’t necessarily involve sharing bank account details, then it will continue to work and people will keep on losing their money needlessly. The woman who got scammed actually had a pretty silly reason for getting tricked. Federal Commercial Crimes director Comm Syed Ismail said that the woman “caved in when she heard his [the con artist’s] sob stories”. The con artist claimed that he was from the United Kingdom and that he needed the woman’s bank account to cash in a RM4.6 million contract with Petronas. Petronas is Malaysia’s national oil company – a pretty fit choice should you want to add some authenticity to your scam. He said that he simply could not afford to pay stamp duty charges and insurance fees and thus could not get the contract approved. It’s assumed that he told the woman much more than that, thus the sob stories. The woman felt sympathy towards the con artist and ended up paying RM1.1 million through several different transactions in a span of nearly a month, from March 29 to April 19.

The Authorities Step in

The woman eventually realized that she had been conned, and thus went to contact the local police. The police staged an investigation in the matter and came up with six suspects. Police managed to retrieve RM15,000 or about $5,000 – but that’s a very paltry sum compared to what the woman used to have. The police also found 18 ATM cards, seven cellphones, and a laptop upon apprehending the suspects. It’s still unknown how many people they have tricked through this scam of theirs and investigation is still ongoing.


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