Monday, May 7, 2007

Many conned despite wide publicity on scams

GREED and naivety are two main reasons consumers still continue to fall prey to scams that promise windfalls from out of the blue.

Penang Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs enforcement unit chief Gunaselan Marian said consumers were generally enticed by the big prize offered in the deal.

“Despite wide publicity about such scams, many consumers still allow themselves to be conned by messages via e-mail and short messaging system (SMS) that claim they had won a lottery, competition or raffle draw.

“If it is an investment scheme, consumers must always check to find out if the scheme is registered with Bank Negara or any local financial institution,” he said at a consumer education seminar for Tamil schoolteachers in Seberang Jaya recently.

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) rural education officer N.V. Subbarow said a 25-year old clinic assistant last month lost RM2,000 to a scam which claimed that she had won RM10,000.

“The conman, who claimed that he was based at the Petronas Twin Towers, asked the woman to deposit RM2,000 as processing fee into a bank account to expedite payment of her prize money.

“The woman pawned some of her jewellery to raise the RM2,000.

“She only realised it was a scam when she found that the prize money was not deposited into her bank account,” he said.

Subbarow advised consumers to seek advice from Gunaselan’s office, CAP or any other consumer awareness organisation if they were unsure about the authenti-city of such offers.

The Star


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