Retiree Loses RM682,000 To A 'Bank Negara Officer' In Lengthy 3-Month Scam

The scammers threatened the victim that she would be arrested if she refused to cooperate.

Cover image via CNN & AFP/Malay Mail

A local council retiree in Penang lost a whopping RM682,000 of her savings to a Macau scam syndicate recently

According to Bernama, the 69-year-old woman, who used to work at the Penang Island City Council (MBPP), was in contact with a scammer for over a period of three months and did not suspect anything amiss until she checked her bank account last week.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via ABC News

It began in March when she received a phone call from a "high ranking police officer" from Pahang claiming that her name was registered to an illegal online gambling account

Seberang Perai Utara police chief ACP Noorzainy Mohd Noor, who is currently investigating the case, said she was then connected to a "sergeant" who disclosed her details in an alleged further investigation.

"[He then] asked her to deal with a Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) officer who would contact her soon for clarification and assistance," Noorzainy said in a statement yesterday, 2 June, reported New Straits Times.

Sure enough, the woman was contacted by a man who claimed to be a BNM officer who told her to transfer all her savings into a single bank account to facilitate the investigation.

The "BNM officer" also threatened the victim that she would be arrested and remanded if she refused to cooperate.

Fearing arrest, she followed the suspect's instructions.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via CNN

The pensioner also shared TAC numbers with the scammer until 27 May when he suddenly stopped calling her

It was said the scammer called the victim every day to track her movements and to receive the TAC numbers from her.

"The victim then felt weird because from 28 May until yesterday no call was received from the BNM official as usual," said Noorzainy.

The woman finally contacted her bank to ask about her account and was informed that her savings had been transferred a little at a time daily into another bank account.

She lodged a police report on Tuesday, 2 June, after she realised the scammer's number was also then unreachable.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via AFP/Malay Mail

Seberang Perai police are currently investigating the case under Section 420 of the Penal Code for fraud

ACP Noorzainy said police are trying to uncover the syndicate, including the owner of the account used for the money transfers from the victim's account.

He added that they are also looking at the possibility that the victim might actually be involved in online gambling.

Last year, two different women were scammed through similar methods:

Over the years, several Malaysians have fallen for such scams. Here's how to identify them, according to the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM):

Beware of these other scams in Malaysia: