My mother almost got scammed. She was definitely drawn by the sweet talk and the carrot at the end of the stick... And who won't be tempted by that?
She had been told that she had a parcel sent to her from the United States of America and in it contained two branded watches, one mobile phone, about USD5-10k in cash, some clothes and jewellery... And well , somehow it was stuck at the Customs office and if she wanted to take it... She had to bank in RM3500 to a Maybank account....
She was excited.. And called my husband and me for advice. I, being cruel dream breaker bluntly told her to forget all about it.. Or risk being a statistic..
A few hours later, she received another sms which was was written in terrible English...
"Miss , we have a problem with your parcel. The custom officer scanned your parcel and they found theres a cash money inside your parcel. for your infomation.
Miss any cash money sent thru parcel must come with Aniti Terrorist Certificate. they tried to search the cert comes with document but they didn't found any.
Miss I would like to advise u to secure the Anti Terrorist cert immediatly. Theres a department can help u to secure the cert but theres a charges of Rm 10500.00. please advise urgently. Thanks Norita Binti swift courier Angent."
Yup... That was the exact sms she received... So if she was going to go through.. She would have had to pay RM3500 and now another RM10500... Well, that would never stop there... Heaven knows what other charges they will cook up next...
It is known as the 'Parcel Scam' or also 'African scam', and this scam has been pretty effective apparently seeing that it has raked in hundreds of million ringgit for the perpetrators. It probably is the 'top scam of a few years' used by fraud syndicates."
This scam happens when a syndicate member, normally an African with perhaps a local accomplice or could be girlfriend or such, takes advantage of a victim.
They will usually go for vulnerable women such as the elderly, single mothers or women who are lonely. Probably because they are less Internet savvy as well as easier to dupe and will sweet talk and tempt their victims to 'claim' a parcel on behalf of the 'distressed' scammer, who would first befriend the victim over social networking sites, and then get them to pay for some so-called administrative charges from the Customs..
After the money has been transferred to the given bank accounts, the scammers will naturally disappear and the victims will not ever see the make believe parcel.
The scam cause huge money losses for the victims because the victims spend a big amount, at least RM5,000 for each payment. It is only after several payments that the victims would realise that they have been cheated... and lets see... if my mom was following the instructions... it would have costed her RM14,000 already right???!!
Although there have been many scam tactics exposed by police, Malaysians somehow are still falling prey to these syndicates.
Malaysians seem to be still quite gullible and despite the statistics, many of us still simply take things for granted. People should learn that when a particular offer sounds too good to be true, be in via phone calls or emails, then it usually is.
Other scam tactics involving cyberspace and multimedia identified by police include SMS and email scams, online transaction frauds, Internet banking (phishing) and 'spoofing' – an impersonation scam via telephone.
Gosh... Please be careful out there people!!!