Bintulu’s single mum loses half a million to “Italian job” scam

Credit: Malay Mail

A 40-year-old single-mother in Bintulu has lost RM494,000 to a scam involving a non-existent oil and gas project in Italy.

Sarawak Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) chief Supt Maria Rasid, said the woman became acquainted with the scammer known as `Li Wei’ through Facebook.

“The suspect managed to convince her to invest in an oil and gas project in Sicily, Italy,” she said in a media statement.

Maria said the victim developed an interest in the project because of the lucrative profits.

“The victim then made over 30 transactions involving a total sum of RM494,000 in the name of five different individuals’ accounts between March 2020 to May 2020,” she said.

She said the victim only realized that she was duped when the suspect kept on deceiving her that the project encountered financial difficulties and continued to ask for more money from her.

The victim lodged the police report on Aug 3.

Maria reminded members of the public not to be easily enchanted with handsome profile photos which they come across on social media.

She also reminded the people to avoid updating their own status or whether they were looking for a partner as this could attract the attention of cyber criminals.

“Do not easily believe in any good offer or investments of projects that provide lavish jewelry, gifts and foreign currency,” she said.

If they are in doubt, they can contact CCID Scam response centre via 03-26101559 or 03-26101599 or CCID infoline 0132111222 (WhatsApp) to obtain advice or information regarding cases of online crime. – The Borneo Post