Friday June 13, 2008
Cheated of RM200,000
KUALA LUMPUR: A woman's obsession to win a RM90,000 cash price in an SMS lucky draw ended up with her losing more than twice the amount.
Yet, the 53-year-old accounts clerk is bent on trusting the scam to bring her more “winnings” after a caller told her that the cash price had been invested in horse races and her stake has grown to RM1.5mil.
The only thing stopping the victim, known only as Kong, from paying a further processing fee of RM200,000 is that she has no more money. She has so far paid RM206,000 in such fees.
Kong is so convinced that she would get the cash that she flew from Sibu to request for MCA Services and Public Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong to accompany her to Hong Kong to collect the money.
Her request was rejected and her attempt turned into a cry for sympathy.
It all started when Kong first received a call from a woman calling herself Yap Li Hong purportedly from Ting Sing Tourism Hong Kong.
Yap told her she had won RM90,000 in the first round of the SMS lucky draw.
Convinced, Kong banked in a refundable processing fee of RM5,400 to a local account.
Two days later, Kong received the refund and that convinced her even more.
“I was then told that the winning money had been invested in some horse race,” she said at a news conference organised by Chong here on Wednesday.
Her daughter Wong, who had flown in from overseas, said she had told her mother repeatedly that it was a scam but to no avail.
“Later, the person called to say I had made RM1.5mil from the investment and in order to cash it I'd need to pay another processing fee,” Kong said, adding that she had paid about RM206,000 in fees over several occasions and still needed to pay RM200,000 to claim the money.
What convinced her even more was a call from a so-called former winner of the lucky draw.
Because Kong is now left with no money, she has decided to forgo her dream of cashing the million bucks and instead wants to only get back the RM206,000 processing fees that she had paid.
“For that, I was told that I needed to bank in RM20,000,” she said.
“I have lost everything. I borrowed money from relatives and took out my Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and insurance money in order to pay the processing fees. I'm broke at the moment,” the distressed Kong said.
“I really believed that I would get back my money,” she added.
To this Chong had only this to say: “I've had over a dozen news conferences and had constantly reminded the people about these scams. Yet they do not listen and fall prey.”