A woman in Malaysa forked over 1.1 million rupees — $367,000 in U.S. currency — to a con artist she met on Facebook.
The swindler claimed he was a U.K. citizen who needed the unidentified woman’s bank account in order to obtain monies from a contract he had with Petronas, Malaysia’s national oil company.
The man said his contract was worth $1.5 million and that he needed the victim to help him pay stamp duty charges and insurance fees before he could get his agreement approved.
He supplicated to the victim that all he needed her financial assistance in paying the fees and he could get what was owed to him.
The Federal Commercial Crimes director Comm Datuk Wira Syed Ismail Syed Azizan told the Strait Times Wednesday that, “The victim paid RM1.1 million via several transactions to the man between March 29 and April 19.”
When the victim realized that she had been conned by her Facebook acquaintance, she contacted the local authorities.
On Tuesday, police arrested six male suspects in Kepong, all are allegedly connected to the Facebook scam — two of them were Nigerians, two from Bangladesh and the other men were locals.
Investigators only recovered $5,000 of the victim’s money but they also stumbled upon 18 ATM cards, seven cell phones and a laptop.
The woman admitted to police that she had been a sucker for the con man’s plea for assistance via the popular social networking site. Apparently, local officials believe that her profile showed vulnerability that attracted the criminals.
Readers, what do you recommend that women do to better protect themselves against con artists online?