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Harian Metro: Mutakhir

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Online cheat dares victims to net him

KUALA LUMPUR: A conman has not only cheated countless people through online trading scams but has even challenged them to try and catch him.

MCA Public Services and Complaints De­­partment head Datuk Michael Chong said the department had received 22 complaints about the conman, identified as Chan, since 2008 with total losses amounting to RM50,000.

Chong said many online businesses are genuine, but there are many scam artists who prey on innocent people.

“These scammers attract buyers by offering popular products and gadgets at low prices.

“These people will disappear when the buyers complain of not receiving their goods after payment,” he said at his office yesterday.

Chong said he would refer the case to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Commercial Crimes Investigation Department for further action.

He advised Internet surfers to carry out thorough checks before buying items from online traders.

One victim, Looi Zi Qing, lost RM1,800 to Chan.

Looi, 24, said he had deposited the money into Chan’s bank account after he agreed to buy an iPhone from him.

However, Chan failed to get back to him after that.

Looi said he found out later that the conman was still operating on various websites under different names.

He added that when he told others of his case through online forums, he suddenly received an SMS from Chan.

“Chan sent me a text message saying that there was no point making a police report or approaching the media as I wouldn’t get my money back,” said Looi.

One of the SMS text messages read: “Learn to be smart. (Do) You think the police will give you back your money?”

Another victim Lim Aik Soon, 23, said he had posted an advertisement on an online forum seeking to buy a used handphone.

“A person named Miss Jenny responded through the forum, who offered me a BlackBerry phone for a reasonable price,” he added.

After making the payment, Lim said he could not contact “Miss Jenny” because the number was disconnected.

Lim said he believed the two cases were connected because he was given a similar account number as Looi.

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