SEREMBAN: A 36-year-old civil servant who tried to buy a bicycle in cyberspace ended up paying more than 10 times the offered price in an online scam on Tuesday.
The man, an assistant statistician for a government agency, also never took delivery of the bicycle causing him losses of about RM5,800.
On June 15, the victim who lives in Sikamat here had come across an advertisement in social media platform Instagram of a TRS Ratel 30 bicycle being sold at a bargain of just RM550.
Negri Sembilan commercial crimes investigations department chief Supt Aibee Mohd Ghani said the victim contacted the seller and was told to deposit full payment for the bicycle and wait for it to be delivered via a courier company within two days.
He said the victim made payment into a bank account and the following day he received a call from another man claiming to be a staff of the seller.
Aibee said the man demanded RM1,250 for delivery charges and after the victim made the payment, he subsequently received more calls from the scammer.
He said this time the man wanted payments for packing the bicycle and for other formalities involving Customs clearance.
Aibee said the victim made the payments sought by the scammer but became suspicious of the transactions.
He said later the victim realised he had been cheated and lodged a police report.
In a separate case in Jempol, a 58-year-old rubber tapper lost his life savings of RM99,000 to a woman he had neither met nor spoken to in a love scam.
The victim, who worked for a private company before turning to rubber tapping after retirement, had in February befriended a Facebook user, purportedly a Singaporean businesswoman involved in the oil and gas industry.
Jempol police chief Supt Hoo Chang Hook said the victim developed a relationship with the scammer by merely exchanging text messages.
He said the scammer then told the victim about running into financial difficulties with her business partners.
Hoo said the man fell for the ruse and gave in to the scammer’s request to borrow cash from him.
He said in six transactions, the victim deposited RM99,000 into a local bank account the scammer had given him.
Hoo said soon after the victim banked in the sum, the scammer demanded another RM131,000.
He said the victim became suspicious and made a police report before learning he had been fleeced.