Malaysian Shares How A Scammer Threatened For A Ransom Because They "Kidnapped" Her Child

There were sounds of struggle, as well as crying and screaming, in the background of the call she received.

Cover image via Marlene Zahari (Facebook) & Taylor Grote/Unsplash

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A Malaysian woman is warning others of a recent incident where someone tried to con her over the phone by saying that he has her child in custody

Marlene Zahari, who's based in KL, said that she received a WhatsApp call from a man yelling at her in Bahasa Melayu (BM) at 2pm on Wednesday, 14 June.

He claimed that he had her child and would kill him if she did not pay a ransom.

"Marlene!! Dengar sini, sekarang ni anak kamu ada dengan saya!! Kamu boleh dengar kan?!" (Marlene, listen here. I have your child with me! Do you understand?) he yelled over the phone.

According to Marlene, the scammer knew her name because of her WhatsApp profile, but did not provide any details like the gender or age of her child.

Screenshots of the alleged scam call.

Image via Marlene Zahari (Facebook)

When she didn't respond to him, Marlene said that he continued to threaten her by claiming that his partner-in-crime would beat up her so-called child

"There were sounds of struggle and crying and screaming in the background," she added.

She said that the sounds were unclear and she was not able to make out her child's voice. However, she believes that scammers may soon modify their modus operandi to make things more believable.

Citing an example of how artificial intelligence (AI) is able to clone voices now, Marlene shared that "there is an ongoing court case in the US where a child's voice was cloned to extort money from her parents".

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Jose P Ortiz/Unsplash

As he continued to scream threats at Marlene, she sent a text message to her eldest child

Fortunately, her son told her that he was still in school and had even seen his sister at lunch break.

Marlene said that she kept quiet on the phone and the scammer eventually got tired and hung up.  

"Please be aware, everyone," she said, adding that these scammers could be targeting women and playing on their emotions

Speaking to SAYS, Marlene detailed that her friend's sister had also received a similar call a few days prior. This time, the scammers apparently referred to the woman by her full name, which nobody calls her by.

Marlene added that when she asked her friend's sister to check if her full name was written on her WhatsApp profile, she realised that it was, implying that the scammers were getting the information from there.

Another friend of Marlene's also told her that a colleague received a similar call the day before she did and has since made a police report.

Not long ago, a couple received a call from a scammer who used an AI voiceover to pretend to be their grandson crying for help:

Always stay alert and be aware of the scams that are happening around us:

If you do fall prey to a scam, here's what you can do:

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