KUALA LUMPUR: A foreign syndicate is using Malaysians, including students, to open several bank accounts each and use the accounts to enrich the syndicate members by ripping off victims’ money.
When they first open an account, the account holders will get a “commission” of RM300.
Thereafter, every time a deposit is made, the account holder will receive a RM150 “commission”.
The syndicate has various tactics at its disposal.
One is the SMS scam in which the syndicate informs a third party that he has won thousands of ringgit. But in order to get that money, he has to bank in a certain amount into the account as “deposit”.
Another method is to tell the unsuspecting person that he has failed to attend a court hearing. The victim will have to deposit a certain amount into the account so that his money “will not be confiscated by the court”.
In order to convince him of the veracity of its demand, the syndicate will name an actual court official as a reference, although that court official does not know that his name is being used.
The syndicate will keep all the passbooks and the ATM cards of the account holders. It will then withdraw an amount below RM5,000 at a time, the maximum one can withdraw using an ATM card.
For amounts above RM5,000, the syndicate will ask the account holder to withdraw the money in person, giving RM100 as a reward for each transaction of that nature.
“The syndicate will lobby Malaysians, including students, to open accounts and to invite their friends to also do so to make quick money,” said MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Michael Chong.
The syndicate has also been advertising in local newspapers for trainee remisiers in their get-rich-quick scam.
“We have received 11 complaints in less than six months, of which five are from college students as young as 18. Two of these students are in police custody.
“This matter is serious and has involved many innocent students,” said Chong, who felt sorry that some of them wanted money to cover their school fees.
Chong appealed to those involved in the scam to surrender to police and lodge a report so that the police can investigate the matter case by case.