Kedah bunker fuel company loses RM4.5m to email scam

ALOR STAR: Kedah police are advising the people to be cautious when dealing with payment into the account of a third party via email transactions.

Kedah police chief Datuk Asri Yusoff said in the latest case, a 47-year-old owner of a bunker fuel company from Sungai Petani claimed he was cheated by a fake bunker fuel supply company and suffered losses amounting to RM4.5 million.

Asri said the victim made two police reports on the fraud on June 8 and 10 after realising he had been deceived in two transactions made to a bank in Greensboro in the United States on May 31 and June 2 for a company in Hong Kong for USD760,000 (RM3.2 million).

"I am worried about such activities and those involved in purchasing should be careful as in this case the syndicate is very crafty by latching a Spyware application in the victim's computer to obtain a copy of every e-mail between the victim and the actual fuel supplying company in Singapore.

"After obtaining the information between the two companies, a syndicate member would create a fake email masquerading as the supplier to invoice the victim for payment into a bank account.

"The complainant only realised he had been cheated after the real supplier contacted him for payment," he told reporters here today.

Following that, he said police were still investigating the incident and will cooperate with International Police (Interpol) to detect syndicates active in this country.

He also advised companies to secure their computer system so as not to be easily accessed by Spyware.

"I am also telling the people not to take the matter lightly and there should be confirmation from the supplier before payment is made to another account different from the usual number, otherwise people may fall to such scams due to their own negligence," he said.

The case was being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for fraud. — Bernama