Scammers have been around for ages, and the sophistication and variety of their scams grow by the day.
Not too long ago, a Malaysian paper carried a story about a lady lecturer who lost money in one of what has now been termed the “overseas parcel scams”. I must admit, however, that when I read about this victim, the overriding thought was how could she have fallen for this. Not too much pity, I must honestly admit.
Lately I was told about yet another type of scam. And this is 100% home grown.
In the area where our goat farm is located, the Malaysian Railways is undertaking an expansion. Yes, we are finally moving to a double track system. The MR has been acquiring land in the area, paying compensation to the landowners and getting them to move out.
Now this is a rural area, where most of the inhabitants are old and barely literate. Mostly living alone or with their aged spouses. Many have children who have now moved out of the village and are working in the cities and towns.
One such old lady recently got her compensation. She had planned to buy a small house as her “home of, God knows, how many generations” was about to be torn down, and with the balance, give some to her kids and use the rest for her living expenses.
One of the demolished houses in Kampung Hilir. No, this was not the old lady’s house.
On a visit to a hospital to visit her sick grandchild, she was met by a smooth talking local guy who convinced her that the MR had underpaid her compensation. And this guy and his friend (who was supposed to be a senior official in MR) were going around quietly ensuring that the kampung folks got their rightful compensation.
She met up with this “senior official” who in turn convinced her to withdraw RM70,000 from her savings account and handed it over to him. He assured her that he would be depositing RM100,000 into her account within a week. Only God knows why she listened to this guy, but she claims that he told her about how he had performed the Haj 4 times and he would never ever stoop to cheating a fellow Muslim! What a slimeball!
Now the guy is gone and so has the money!
The old lady can only cry her eyes out now. She does not have enough to buy her house, much less living expenses. The other kampung folks have helped her to make a police report and obtained copies of the grainy CCTV recordings at the Bank branch where she withdrew the money. But the chances of recovery are very slim.
Now all the old lady can do is to cry, and pray to God to punish those guys who cheated her. (It is clear that some insiders are involved, as those guys knew exactly how much she had received). Cases like this make me so sad. This case seems so ruthless. These conmen have just made an old lady homeless.
But they should fear the prayers of the old lady, for surely her prayers will be heard and answered!